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Stairway to Heaven: Stars and Planets Align in Night Sky Photo

• http://www.space.com, by Nina Sen
 The image was taken from the Atacama desert in western South America by Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution for Science) on July 11, 2012.

The Pleiades star cluster stands highest in the sky appearing as a close group of bright blue dots. Next to it, Jupiter shines on the immediate right while Venus sits one step further in the morning line. Venus appears largest in the image because it’s closer to Earth.

 Finally, the red giant star Aldebaran, marks the end of the line-up. The name Aldebaran is derived from the Arabic word for ‘follower’ and may have been given the moniker because it appears to tag behind the Pleiades cluster in the sky.

 

 

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