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.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday evening March 12th the 6-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 4o from the reddish star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran is also the brightest in the open star cluster the Hyades, a v-shaped appearing group of stars making the face of Taurus. Both the Moon and the v-shape of the Hyades should fit nicely within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
Aldebaran, from mythology, represents the ‘angry eye’ of the bull as it charges toward Orion.