Monday evening April 15th the ‘Red Planet’ Mars will be near the open star cluster the Hyades – a v-shaped pattern of stars making up the face of Taurus the Bull. Mars will also be about 5o from the ‘eye’ of the Bull, the reddish star Aldebaran. Both the Hyades and Mars will easily fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars, and should prove to be an interesting sight. Compare the 1.50 apparent magnitude of Mars with the brighter 0.90 apparent magnitude for Aldebaran.
Sunday evening April 14th the 10-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be about 5o from the star Regulus, the ‘heart’ of Leo the Lion. Both the Moon and Regulus will easily fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
Friday April 12th the first quarter Moon will be within 6-7o from the star Pollux in the constellation of the Gemini Twins and will more or less fit within the field of view of 7X50 binoculars.
Over the next several evenings the waxing crescent Moon will have moved past the planet Mars and the open star cluster the Pleiades and gradually move past another open star cluster the Hyades. Both open star clusters are part of the constellation Taurus the Bull.
Monday evening April 1st the planet Mars was within about 3o from the open star cluster the Pleiades and about 8-9o from the open star cluster the Hyades. These two open star clusters are part of the constellation Taurus the Bull with the v-shaped Hyades and its reddish star Aldebaran making up the Bull’s face, and the ‘small dipper-shaped’ Pleiades are located along the Bull’s shoulder.
From mythology it has been told that Orion and Taurus are engaged in a battle. Orion with a shield held up against the charging bull, and the anger of the bull indicated by its red eye, the star Aldebaran.
Sunday March 31st the planet Mars will be 3-4o from the open star cluster the Pleiades allowing both to fit within the field of view of binoculars. For the next several days Mars will pass the Pleiades as Mars moves eastward against the apparent daily westward motion of the stars in the background resulting from the Earth’s revolution around the Sun.
This past Thursday evening and Friday evening the ISS (International Space Station) orbited over the midwest United States. Thursday evening was very clear allowing me the opportunity to catch the ISS as this picture shows. As the ISS appeared over the western horizon a passenger jet flew over on its way to MCI Airport. I was using a remote for the camera and was regularly hitting the shutter release button planning on catching the plane as it went past Orion’s Belt. Somehow I didn’t depress the button enough creating the gap over the belt stars. Nonetheless the path the ISS followed took it below Orion’s feet past Sirius in Canis Major, and then close by Procyon in Canis Minor and eventually across Leo the Lion.
Last night, Friday, it was overcast so no picture.
Camera Info: Canon Rebel EOS T7i; 18mm; ISO 1600; f/4.0; 3 sec.
Software for Image Stacking (PC version): Sequator. Here is a good explanation about using Sequator.