Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, My Car, and the Night Sky (part 2)

In response to my last post, Sue VanHattum (the only person who reads this blog :-)) asked why the Pleiades are called the Seven Sisters while there are six stars in the logo for Subaru.  I was going to respond in the comments, but I realized that I had too much to say.

The Pleiades from Greek Mythology where seven daughters of Atlas.  According to the myth, Zeus transformed the Pleiades into stars to protect them from the hunter Orion.  Due to the rotation of the Earth, the constellation Orion appears to follow the Pleiades in the night sky.

The Subaru logo represents the five companies that merged to form Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries.  Apparently the larger star represents the merged companies.  It looks like there is one star (Celaeno) on the right of the picture that is not part of the Subaru logo.  The Greeks must have seen it differently than the Japanese.

I finally remembered where I heard about the date of Halloween.  I saw it on a Jack Horkhimer: Star Gazer segment last year.  This year's version is below.

I just learned that Jack died this year.

Sue also mentioned that the pagans celebrate the periods halfway between the equinoxes and the solstices.  The astronomy professor at my college told me that Groundhog's Day is at the halfway date between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.  I was saving that tidbit for February.