From early June,
look to the north-east horizon.
Find the constellation Tautoru, or Orion’s belt (sometimes called ‘the pot’).
Trace a line northwards from the three stars of Tautoru.
Look for a faint sparkle of tiny dots,
about the same width as Tautoru is long.
This is the Matariki star cluster.
Matariki can also be seen during the summer months in this location of the sky after sunset.
A cluster is a group of stars that are near each other in space.
When seen from Earth,
the stars in a constellation appear to be close together in a pattern,
but they might actually be far from each other.
There are about 500 stars in the Matariki cluster,
but only six or seven are visible without a telescope.
The star cluster is visible to the naked eye from most parts of our planet,
and has many different names.
In English, it is called the Pleiades (its ancient Greek name) or the Seven Sisters.
The Hawaiian name is Makali‘i, or ‘eyes of royalty’,
and in Japan it is Subaru, meaning ‘gathered together’.
Source: Te Papa