Sterope (star)

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Position of the Asterope pair in the Pleiades

The Sterope /ˈstɛrəp/ or Asterope /əˈstɛrəp/[1] system is a double star in the zodiac constellation of Taurus. Its components have the Flamsteed designations 21 Tauri and 22 Tauri,[2] and are sometimes known as Sterope I and Sterope II, respectively.[3]

The International Astronomical Union applies the name Asterope specifically to 21 Tauri.[4] The two stars are thus

The two stars are separated by 0.047° on the sky, which is equal to 2.82 arc-minutes and thus closer than the usual naked-eye resolution limit of 4 arc-min, giving an elongated appearance of the two together. Both are members of the Pleiades open star cluster (M45) and approximately 440 light-years from the Sun.

Nomenclature[edit]

Asterope was one of the Pleiades sisters in Greek mythology.

In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN)[5] to catalogue and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN decided to attribute proper names to individual stars rather than entire multiple systems.[6] 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.[4]

Namesake[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davis, George A. (1944). "The pronunciations, derivations, and meanings of a selected list of star names". Popular Astronomy. 52: 8–30.
  2. ^ Burnham, Robert (1978). Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System. 3. Courier Corporation. p. 1883.
  3. ^ Allen, Richard Hinckley (1963). Star names - Their Lore and Meaning. Dover Books. p. 407. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  4. ^ a b "Naming Stars". IAU.org. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  5. ^ IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN), International Astronomical Union, retrieved 22 May 2016.
  6. ^ "WG Triennial Report (2015-2018) - Star Names" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 2018-07-14.