Thursday evening October 17th look for the 19-day old waning gibbous Moon to be rising with the stars of the open star cluster the Hyades. The Moon will be about 3-4o from the reddish star Aldebaran. Aldebaran represents the ‘angry eye’ of Taurus the Bull, and is at the end of the v-shaped asterism, the Hyades.
Wednesday October 16th the 18-day old waxing gibbous Moon will rise in the east near the two open star clusters in the constellation of Taurus the Bull. These are the Hyades, a v-shaped asterism making up the face of the Bull, and the Pleiades (aka the 7 Sisters) a small dipper-shaped group of stars on the shoulder of the Bull.
Tuesday morning before the Sun rises the 26-day old waning crescent Moon will be about 6>sup>o from the open star cluster M-44, or more commonly known as the ‘Beehive Cluster’, or from the Latin for manger or cradle, Praesepe. M-44 is a group of approximately 1,000 stars at a distance of around 600 light years.
The open star cluster covers about 1-2o and is easily seen in dark skies with the unaided eyes as a fuzzy patch of light. Through binoculars or with a low power wide field telescope eyepiece M-44 resolves to individual stars.
Late Thursday night September 19th or very early Thursday morning September 20th the 22-day old waning gibbous Moon will be rising with the stars making up the v-shaped face of Taurus the Bull. These are the Hyades. The point of the v-shape is the nose of the bull while at the opposite ends are the eyes. Most noticeably is the reddish star Aldebaran, which from the mythology is the Bull’s ‘angry eye’.
The Moon will be about 4-5o to the west from Aldebaran and will may occult some of the stars making up the Hyades. At sunrise local time the Moon will be over the southern horizon and then sets around midday or early afternoon.
Wednesday morning, August 28th, before the Sun rises local time look for the very thin 27-day old waning crescent Moon to be ‘on top’ of the open star cluster the Beehive Cluster, M-44. This should prove to be a great sight either with binoculars or telescope.
Over the next 3 mornings, July 26, 27,and 28 before sunrise, the waning crescent Moon will be moving across the shoulders and head of the constellation Taurus the Bull. As it traverses the constellation pattern the waning Moon will come within about 8o from the open star cluster, the Pleiades and within about 4-5o from the v-shaped open star cluster the Hyades.
This should make for some good viewing through binoculars, especially on the 27th when the Moon passes about 2-3o from the reddish star Aldebaran in the Hyades. How close the conjunction between the Moon and Aldebaran will be depends greatly on your viewing location’s longitude. This graphic is for when the two are their closest which is 2.5o around 1 UT (8 pm CDT).
Sunday morning June 30th, before sunrise local time, look for a thin 27-day old waning crescent Moon to be close to the two open star clusters in Taurus the Bull, the Pleiades and the Hyades. The Pleiades are about 9-10o west, or above, the Moon, while the v-shaped Hyades and the Moon will all fit within the field of view of binoculars.