Six onion-eating wives: a love story in the sky | Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
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Six onion-eating wives: a love story in the sky

Every night, the Young Men (the Hyades) chase the Young Women (the Pleiades) across the sky. The men will never catch up.


In time for Valentine’s Day, a poignant Monache love story can be witnessed high in the early evening sky. The main characters are represented by the Hyades and Pleiades, two star clusters in the constellation Taurus.

In the story, six young women (the Pleiades) were married to six young men (the Hyades). Every day, the men would hunt mountain lions, and the women would gather plants. One day, the women discovered a new plant: wild onions.

Oh, how they loved those onions! They ate and ate and ate. But their husbands couldn’t stand their breath. The men complained the smell got on them and made it impossible for them to hunt. The women refused to stop eating the onions.

Finally, the husbands told their wives to leave. The women agreed and used their magic eagle-down ropes to lift themselves into the sky.

When the men saw their wives sailing high above them into the sky, they regretted what they had done. They used their own magic eagle-down ropes to travel into the sky. After reaching the sky, the young men and women all turned into stars.

Every clear night at this time of year, you can watch the men pursue the women across the sky. But the women’s magic is more powerful than the men’s, so the men will never catch up – all because the women loved eating onions more than they loved their husbands.

To hear this story told under the planetarium stars, join us at Carolina Skies: Valentine edition, on Feb. 12, 13, or 14, 2016. All shows are at 8 p.m. and are suitable for adults and teens. 

You’ll learn how to star hop from the constellation Orion to the bright star Aldebaran and on to the Young Men and Young Women, as well as how to find stars and constellations featured in other love stories in the sky.

We’ll conclude the storytelling with a fly-through of the universe. Does someone in your life claim to love you to the Moon and back? We’ll go way, way, way farther than that.

Image Credit: Stellarium.