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The star Pleione in the Pleiades

Variable star Pleione, 28 = BU Tauri, type Gamma Cassiopeiae, in the Pleiades (M45) in Taurus

Since 1888, Pleione has ejected three gaseous shells. On each such occasion, the star's visual brightness has first risen, then fallen below the normal level. The last outburst occurred from 1972 to 1987.

The very faint portion of the Pleiades reflection nebula closest to Pleione was cataloged as Ced 19p.

[Pleione, Bonestell painting]
Right Ascension 03:49:11.22 (h:m:s)
Declination +24:08:12.2 (deg:m:s)
Distance 0.38 (kly)
Visual Brightness 5.09 (mag)
Spectral Type B8e p

Artist Chesley Bonestell's view of the Pleiades' "mother" Pleione, as seen from a hypothetical planet. Artwork is copyright © Chesley Bonestell Estate/courtesy Bonestell Space Art; also note Chesley Bonestell's Interactive Art Gallery on the web and in particular their Pleione page.

As this star rotates rapidly, its shape is that of an oblate spheroid instead of a sphere. According to its B8 spectral type, Pleione is of white color. It is significantly more luminous than the sun: about 45 times.

From: Chesley Bonestell: Space Painter - The Master at 90 in Future Life #1 (April 1978).

Remarks on painting located on the back, "Pleione, a naked eye star of the Pleiades cluster, seen from a hypothetical planet 93 million miles away - the same distance as our earth from the sun. This type-B star is rotating about 100 times faster (so rapidly it becomes flattened) than our sun and its radiation is so intense that a planet orbiting it at 93 million miles would be red hot. Thus, if our sun were Pleione our earth would be red hot."

Caption from Bauder Catalog Magazine #57: "Pleione star viewed from a hypothetical planet at 93 million miles."

Hartmut Frommert
Christine Kronberg

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Last Modification: September 28, 2003