Asterope (star)

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Position of the Asterope pair in the Pleiades

Asterope or Sterope is the traditional name of a double star, whose components have the Flamsteed designations 21 Tauri and 22 Tauri, in the constellation of Taurus,[1] although the International Astronomical Union now regards the name Asterope as only applying to 21 Tauri.[2] They are sometimes known as Sterope I and Sterope II.[3]

They are separated by 0.047° on the sky and are both members of the Pleiades open star cluster (M45) and approximately 440 light-years from the Sun.


Asterope was one of the Pleiades sisters in Greek mythology.

In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)[4] to catalogue and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN decided to attribute proper names to individual stars rather than entire multiple systems.[5] It approved the name Asterope for 21 Tauri on 21 August 2016 and it is now so included in the List of IAU-approved Star Names.[2]


USS Sterope (AK-96) was a United States Navy Crater class cargo ship named after the star.


  1. ^ Burnham, Robert (1978). Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System. 3. Courier Corporation. p. 1883.
  2. ^ a b "Naming Stars". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  3. ^ Allen, Richard Hinckley (1963). Star names - Their Lore and Meaning. Dover Books. p. 407. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  4. ^ IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN), International Astronomical Union, retrieved 22 May 2016.
  5. ^ "WG Triennial Report (2015-2018) - Star Names" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 2018-07-14.