Apart from stars there are many more interesting things to look at in the night sky.Most of these are know as Messier objects.There are 110 such objects and in this post i'll be telling you about one such Messier object known as M45 or Pleiades.It is an open star cluster containing seven stars that is located in the constellation Taurus.It is located on the extreme right side of the star Aldebaran which is a red giant and also one of the brightest star in the Taurus constellation.Pleiades looks somewhat like the Ursa major except for the fact that it is way small and you need a clear sky with minimum distractions to spot it.Pleiades consists of nine stars(it is difficult to find all the nine stars....although you can spot around six of them).These are Atlas,Merope,Electra,Maia,Taygeta,and Alcyone.M45 ,it has an apparent magnitude of 1.6.Now if any stellar object has an apparent magnitude between -38 and 6 then it is visible to the naked eye whereas anything above 6 would be invisible to the naked eye.Now the apparent magnitude of the Sun as seen from the Earth is -26.74.Apparent magnitude of Sirius is -1.47.The apparent magnitude of Aldebaran is between 0.75-0.95.So in short M45 is quite a bright object.
If you want to know more about the Pleiades then go to:- www.youtube.com/watch?v=t31lVCPMEZc
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OK..... I have many friends who look up in the sky point at the brightest star (mostly Sirius) amd claim that it is Polaris.......Although Polaris is a bright star it is not THE BRIGHTEST star in the sky........It is quite easy to recognize Polaris, first try to recognize the Orion constellation.Once you've found Orion join the two stars Betelgeuse and Rigel and extend the line in Betelgeuse's direction, first star that you would encounter would be Castor of the Gemini constellation extend the line further north and you would see a bright star now this is Polaris......One of the ways of conforming the star is, stare at it for a while and you would notice that it stands almost motionless in the sky and the other stars seem to revolve round it. If you are standing at the north pole than you would notice that Polaris is exactly overhead i.e. at 90 degree whereas if you are standing at the equator then you would notice that the star is exactly over the horizon i.e. at 0 degree which means that one can measure the latitude of a place by measuring the apparent angel between Polaris and the horizon. The most preferred way to recognize this star is by connecting the two stars of the Ursa major constellation,Merak and Dubhe and extending the line. The first faint star lying on this line is Polaris. Ursa major can also be used for recognizing other constellation for instance if we join the star Megrez and Phecda and then extend the line then the first bright star lying on the line would be Regulus which is also the alpha star of the Leo constellation. If we join the star Alioth, Mizar, Alkaid and extend the arc then the first bright red colored star lying on the arc would be Arcturus which is also the alpha star of the Bootes constellation. If we extend the arc further then we'll reach a blue colored star named Spica which is the alpha star of the Virgo constellation. There is a constellation present right below the arc of Ursa major known as Cannes Venatici. This constellation contains only two stars Cor carolli (binary star) and Chara. Cor carolli being the alpha star. There are many spectacular things to look for in the Ursa major constellation few of the objects that one can track using a telescope are :-
(M 81 present on the lower left side apparent magnitude 6.94 and M 82 on the upper right corner apparent magnitude 8.41)
M 97 (my personal favourite) A.M.-9.9 also known as the Owl nebula
M 109 A.M.-10.6
M 108 A.M.-10.7
M 101(also known as the Pinwheel galaxy) A.M.-7.86