For the next few mornings look east for the planet Mars, but use binoculars or a low power eyepiece in your telescope for a more interesting view. Mars is moving eastward along its orbital path and is crosssing our line of sight as it passes between us and the open star cluster commonly known as the Beehive Cluster, or M-44 from the Messier Catalog of celestial objects. This fuzzy patch of light to the naked-eye when viewed with some magnification becomes a group of stars of near similar brightness that historically has been described as having stars scattered as if they were a ‘swarm of bees’. A simulated view with 7×50 binoculars shows the position of Mars relative to M-44 on th e9th and 10th. To pause the slideshow move the cursor over the pictures to bring up the controls.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.