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George Duke wrote on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 09:35 PM UTC:
Was Omar Khayyam pre-Islamic? No, but as genuine mathematician he was able to think outside the box. The 7th Pleiad, taken to be Electra(F) rather than Merope(P) by the next morality CMVIII, was more visible in antiquity. Conventional wisdom is that you used to count seven unaided about the same brightness, and telescopes now show many stars there in frequently eastern sky. Classically, seven specific similar-brightness stars were the Pleiades in Taurus chased by Orion. Even to Byron 200 years ago writing, ''Like the lost Pleiad seen no more below'' emphasizing six and a seventh. Take a look because the actual hundreds of stars clustered in pleiades will disperse over 250 million years. As representative of change, it is like the North Star's changing over time from Thuban 3000 BCE to Polaris today; and sometimes it is Vega too over 26,000-year precession cycle.

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