The beauty and wonder of the night sky have captivated humans for centuries, inspiring stories, myths, and legends. One of the most recognizable constellations in the sky is the Subaru constellation, also known as the Pleiades. This group of stars has fascinated people for centuries, and each star has a unique meaning and significance in cultural mythologies. In this article, we will delve into the history and meanings of the stars in the Subaru constellation, exploring their cultural significance and the stories behind them.
Subaru Constellation: Origins and Significance
The Subaru constellation is located in the northern hemisphere and is composed of six bright stars that form a small cluster. These stars have been known since ancient times and are visible to the naked eye. In Japanese culture, the constellation is named after the Subaru car company, whose logo features six stars that correspond to the stars in the constellation. However, the origin of the name Subaru is thought to be from the ancient Japanese language and might have a different meaning.
In Greek mythology, the Subaru constellation represented the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, making it also known as the Pleiades after their mother. The story behind the Pleiades is that the seven sisters were pursued by Orion, the hunter in the sky. To protect them, Zeus transformed them into stars, and they now shine in the sky for all to see. The seven sisters are represented by six bright stars, and their mother, Pleione, is the fainter seventh star.
In other cultures, such as the Mayan culture, the Subaru constellation marked the start of the agricultural season and was associated with rain and fertility. In Aboriginal Australian culture, the Subaru constellation signaled the start of the dingoes’ breeding season.
The Stars of Subaru: Their Meanings and Stories
Each star in the Subaru constellation has a unique story and meaning in different cultures. Let’s take a look at them:
1. Maia (20 Tau): The Midwife Star
In Greek mythology, Maia was one of the seven Pleiades, known as the Goddess of Spring and the wife of Zeus. Maia is also known as the midwife star because her rising in the night sky signaled the start of a time of fertility and birth.
2. Electra (17 Tau): The Lost Sister
Electra in Greek mythology was considered the Lost Pleiad. She was said to have been so grief-stricken after the fall of Troy that she was consumed by sorrow and disappeared from the sky.
3. Taygeta (19 Tau): The Hidden One
Taygeta in Greek mythology was a daughter of Atlas and Pleione, and a full sister of Maia and Electra. Taygeta was known as the Hidden One, and she was believed to be hidden among her sisters, blending in with their light.
4. Alcyone (Eta Tauri): The Navigator Star
Alcyone in Greek mythology was the daughter of Atlas and Pleione, and the leader of the seven Pleiades. In some cultures, Alcyone was known as the Navigator Star because she signaled the start of the sailing season in ancient Greece.
5. Celaeno (16 Tau): The Unseen One
Celaeno in Greek mythology was known as the Unseen One. It’s thought that she was given this name because she was often obscured by clouds or light pollution.
6. Merope (23 Tau): The Abandoned One
Merope was known as the Abandoned One because she was said to have run away from the sky after she married a mortal man, Sisyphus. In some cultures, she is also known as the Blurred One because she is the dimmest star in the Subaru constellation.
FAQs About the Stars in the Subaru Constellation
Q: How many stars are in the Subaru constellation?
A: The Subaru constellation is composed of six bright stars that can be seen with the naked eye.
Q: What is the Subaru constellation’s mythology?
A: The Subaru constellation is also known as the Pleiades, and it has a rich mythological history across many cultures. In Greek mythology, it represented the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione who were turned into stars by Zeus. In other cultures, it marked the start of agricultural or breeding seasons.
Q: What is the significance of each star in the Subaru constellation?
A: Each star in the Subaru constellation has a unique meaning and significance across different cultures. For example, Maia is known as the midwife star, while Alcyone is known as the Navigator star.
The stars in the Subaru constellation hold a special place in human history, representing a time of wonder, myth, and storytelling. From the midwife star to the abandoned one, each star in the constellation has a unique story and meaning that has been passed down through generations. As we gaze up at the night sky, we can be transported back in time to the stories and legends of our ancestors, and marvel at the beauty of the stars above us.