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23 Tauri, V971 Tauri

Proper NameMerope
Bayer DesignationNone
Flamsteed Number23 Tauri
HR (BSC)1156
Variable DesignationV971 Tauri
Right Ascension3h 46m 20s
Declination+23° 56' 54"
Distance380 light years
117 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +4.17
Absolute: -1.16
Spectral ClassB6IVe blue subgiant
Optimum VisibilityNovember / December
NotesThe southernmost of the bright stars that make up the cluster known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters in the constellation of Taurus. It is a pulsating variable of the Beta Cephei type, and there are unconfirmed indications that it may have at least one companion star.

Merope is one of four bright blue stars at the heart of the Pleiades cluster, the others being Alcyone, Maia and Electra. The swirl of gases illuminated by Merope, and trailing away to the south of the star, form a distinct nebula within the gases surrounding the entire cluster. This region is designated NGC 1435 and known as the Merope Nebula or Temple's Nebula, with its own inner nebulous zone around the star being given its own distinct designation of IC 349. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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