Asterisms – Ally’s Braid

Original article appears in GuideStar December, 2018.

By: Steve Goldberg

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.

Constellation: Taurus
Right Ascension: 03h 47m 00.0s
Declination: +24° 07' 00"
Magnitude: 5 to 8


This month’s asterism, Ally’s Braid, is embedded in the middle of the well-known group of stars called The Pleiades, M45, or the Seven Sisters. The Pleiades are located in the constellation Taurus and can be easily located after finding the “point of the bull” triangle of stars (seen here in the lower left).  The star Aldebaran is the “eye of the bull”.  The Peiades is a naked eye object under most skies.

The “braid” starts at the bright star Alcyone η in the center of the cluster. From Alcyone going towards the upper left there are 3 bright stars, a slight change in direction and 4 more stars. The last star is a bright 5th magnitude.  These make up the “braid”.


This was named by Stephen Saber and the name “Ally’s Braid” comes from the main star, Alcyone.


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