I would say it's quite common to see more than 6, and I think this would have been even more common before the days of pervasive street-lighting. Here's a quote from http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m045.html
"The Pleiades are among those objects which are known since the earliest times. At least 6 member stars are visible to the naked eye, while under moderate conditions this number increases to 9, and under clear dark skies jumps up to more than a dozen (Vehrenberg, in his Atlas of Deep Sky Splendors, mentions that in 1579, well before the invention of the telescope, astronomer Moestlin has correctly drawn 11 Pleiades stars, while Kepler quotes observations of up to 14). "
I take the point that maybe the artist might not have cared about the true configuration of the stars, or even the true number - perhaps preferring the mythological/mystical number 7 - but in that case it could represent any constellation with roughly seven stars. I guess I'm just trying to question the generally accepted supposition that the picture must be the Pleiades because it looks like them. To me it just looks like a picture with seven stars in it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Larry Roux [mailto:lroux@xxxxxxx]
> Sent: 12 May 2004 12:30
> To: vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: VMs: Pleiades
> Importance: Low
> Actually, only 6 stars of the Pleiades are generally seen
> without any optical devices. people with good eyesight could
> make out the seventh. Of course, with binoculars or a
> telescope one can see many stars.
> Larry Roux
> Syracuse University
> >>> JGrove@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 05/12/04 04:46 AM >>>
> Hi all,
> It seems to be generally accepted as fact that the 'doaro'
> cluster of stars
> on f68r3 represents the Pleides, but I wonder why this
> assumption is made.
> True, there are 7 stars in the picture and classically there were 7
> Pleaides, but the arrangement of the stars in the picture
> doesn't really
> correspond with the true appearance of the stars in the
> cluster. In fact
> visually there are usually more than 7 visible unless light
> pollution is a
> problem - and I assume it was not at the time the VMS was written.
> Is there any other evidence that the 'doaro' cluster is the
> Pleaides, or is
> it just an assumption that's persisted over the years? Given
> that none of
> the other star layouts seem representative of anything, I
> wonder if the
> doaro group was simply intended to look like the others but the artist
> accidentally drew them too small!
> To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx with a body saying:
> unsubscribe vms-list