Sunday morning June 9th the inner planet Venus will be a few degrees from the open star cluster known as the Pleiades. Both Venus and the Pleiades rise about an hour before sunrise local time and both will fit within the field of view of binoculars.
Thursday evening June 6th the 3.70-day old waxing crescent Moon will be within about 4o from the open star cluster M-44, or more commonly known as the “Beehive Cluster”. Despite the crescent Moon’s apparent magnitude of -10.0 it should be possible to still see the Beehive Cluster dimly ‘glowing’ with its 3.50 apparent magnitude in the field of view of binoculars.
Saturday morning June 1st watch for a very thin 27.5-day old waning crescent Moon to rise with the inner plane Venus. The Moon will be about 5o from Venus, and despite the Moon’s thin appearance its apparent magnitude of -9.0 will still outshine Venus apparent magnitude of -3.80. Nonetheless both should make a striking pair over the horizon before sunrise local time.
Sunday evening, May 19th, the ‘Red Planet’ Mars will be passing across the open star cluster M-35. This is a group of stars almost 4,000 light years distant located in the constellation of Gemini the Twins, near their feet. Depending on local sky conditions M-35 may be visible with the unaided, but now with Mars traversing the star cluster it also will be a great sight with binoculars, a telescope, and a camera.
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Friday evening May 10th the 6-day old waxing crescent Moon will be ‘on top’ of the open star cluster, M-44, or the Beehive Cluster. This should make for a great viewing sight through the field of view of binoculars or telescope, and certainly would make for a striking astrophoto.
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.