|Fixed star: PLEIONE|
|Constellation: 28 Taurus|
|Longitude 1900: 28TAU59||Longitude 2000: 00GEM23|
|Declination 1900: +23.50′||Declination 2000: +24.07′|
|Right ascension: 03h 49m||Latitude: +03.59′|
|Spectral class: B8||Magnitude: 5.1 Variable|
The history of the star: Pleione
See Alcyone, the chief star in the Pleiades, for astrological interpretations.
Legend: Mother of the Pleiades and Atlas‘ first wife. Pleione from Plein,`to sail’, making Pleione “sailing queen” and her daughters “sailing ones.” Ancient Greek sailors were cautioned to sail only during the months when the Pleiades were visible. Mythologically speaking, Atlas and Pleione are not Pleiades, but rather the parents of the Seven Sisters. But as Pleione was the mother of the seven sisters, it seems likely that it was from her name this title, Pleiades, originated.
“Hinc sata Pleione cum caelifero Atlante Jungitur, ut fama est, Pleiadasque parit.” — Ovid’s Fasti
Pleione, the Italian astronomer Riccioli’s (1598–1671) Mater Pleione, and Plione, were equally modern additions, although Valerius Flaccus used the word to personify the whole.
As the spectrum of this star shows the bright lines of hydrogen like that of P Cygni, Pickering suggests that it may similarly have had a temporary brilliancy and thus be the Lost Pleiad: a scientific and — if there ever has been in historic time a star in the cluster that is now missing — the most probable solution of this much discussed question; so that the mother seems to have been lost, as well as many of the daughters!