A Missing Star!

   Saturday morning September 5th there will be a star missing from a familiar formation of stars as they rise in the east. Those familiar with the constellation Taurus the Bull know that the face of the bull is depicted by the stars of the Hyades, a ‘V-shaped’ open star cluster. At the lower end of the ‘V’ is the bright reddish star Aldebaran, marking the angry eye of the bull. aldebaran-aniHowever on this particular morning, at least for a while, Aldebaran will be missing.
   So what is happening? The last quarter Moon will occult, pass in front of’, the reddish star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Most of the duration of the occultation event will be visible from parts of Europe and the eastern coast of North America. A timetable of beginning and ending times and showing cities where the occultation will be visible from may be found at the IOTA (International Occultation Timing Association) web site.
click on animation to see it larger    Viewing the event will obviously depend on your local weather, however your longitude and latitude will determine what if any of the event you will see. For example at my longitude of 94oW the last quarter Moon does not rise until midnight CDT and at that time the occultation will already be in progress.

   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Ear is the Moon!

21apr-bino   Tuesday evening April 21st direct your eyes toward the west and the setting Moon. The Moon, looking as if it were stuck in the ear of Taurus the Bull, is in its waxing stage and is approximately 3.5 days old. Within a few degrees from the thin Moon is the reddish star Aldebaran. This star, in mythology, represents the ‘angry eye’ of Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran looks like it belongs to the v-shaped open star cluster that makes up the face of the Bull. These are the Hyades, a group of stars that are actually much further from the Earth than is the star Aldebaran.
   Just in case you are wondering, that much brighter star-like object a few degrees from the Moon and Aldebaran is the inner planet Venus.

   
   
   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

When the Moon Hits You in the Eye

   Thursday January 29th the waxing gibbous Moon passes by the reddish star Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull. From my latitude and longitude the two will be separated by 2-3 o and should make for an interesting binocular view.
   Aldebaran is one of the stars making up the open star cluster known as the Hyades. This v-shaped group of stars forms the Bull’s face with the point of the v-shape as the nose, and Aldebaran is one of the two stars making up the eyes.

   Asteroid 3 Juno, aka Juno, was the 3rd asteroid to be discovered as well as being one of the larger of the main belt asteroids. This asteroid, like all solar orbiting objects, have their own respective orbital position where the Earth is between the object and the Sun. This is know as opposition and Asteroid Juno, located just out of reach from the many headed serpent Hydra, reaches its opposition on January 29th.

   
   
   
[centup]
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Bull Ahead With the Moon!

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   Saturday evening October 11th the 18 day old waning gibbous Moon is within 3o from the reddish star Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran is also the brightest star in the open star cluster the Hyades, one of two open star clusters in this constellation. The second one is the Pleiades, or the 7 Sisters as it more commonly is known.

oct11-bino   With a pair of 7×50 binoculars the Moon, the stars of the v-shaped Hyades, and Aldebaran all easily fit within the field of view.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Venus, Jupiter, M-44, Aldebaran, and the Moon — Oh My!

Click on graphic to see it full-size.

Click on graphic to see it full-size.


   Monday morning, August 18th, there will be almost too much to see what with the waning crescent Moon within 2o from the reddish star Aldebaran in the the open star cluster the Hyades in Taurus the Bull. Lower toward the horizon are the two brightest planets in our skies, Venus and Jupiter both within less than 0.5o from each other. Adding to this conjunction is the open star cluster, M-44, the Beehive Cluster, in Cancer the Crab.

close-up

Click on picture to see it full-size.

Click on picture to see it full-size.

   Update: The skies were more or less clear this morning – some haze and a little fog started settling in bringing an end to my picture taking as the lens fogged up. Plus the usual early morning traffic noise on 50 Highway.
However…
   
   
   
[centup]
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Moon Near Aldebaran

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   On the morning of Tuesday 22 July look toward the southeastern horizon for the waning crescent Moon to be in the ‘V’ of the open star cluster known as the Hyades, and about 2o away from the reddish star Aldebaran.. The v-shaped Hyades marks the face of Taurus the Bull with Aldebaran representing a red eye, an angry bull.
   
22july-bino   The Hyades is a an open star cluster with somewhere around 200 stars many of which help form the familiar v-shape pattern. Unmistakable in its brightness compared with the rest of the ‘v’ stars is the reddish star Aldebaran. While Aldebaran is usually described as the eye of the bull this red giant star is not actually part of the open cluster. Rather it is a line-of-sight arrangement. Aldebaran (60 light years) is nearly three times closer than the stars of the Hyades (150 light years).

   
   
[centup]
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Taurus Faces the Moon

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   This evening the 13.5 days old waxing gibbous Moon, some of the stars of the winter hexagon, and the planet Jupiter rise above the eastern horizon of Kansas City MO as this graphic shows. The Moon is within the constellation of Taurus the Bull as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows.

The Hyades Star Cluster

The Hyades Star Cluster

   The Moon is within 2 degrees from the reddish star Aldebaran and the stars of the V-shaped open cluster the Hyades. The V-shape represents the face the angry bull with reddish Aldebaran at the top of the V as one of the eyes of Taurus, the other eye, Epsilon Tauri is at the top of V’s other side. The bull’s nose is the point of the V, Gamma Tauri.

   
   

   
   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

When the Moon Hits You In The Eye…

   This evening the 17.75 days old waning gibbous Moon rises in the face of Taurus the Bull as the banner graphic shows. hyades1-aniThe Moon is very close to the open star cluster the Hyades, a v-shaped grouping of stars that form the face of the bull. The reddish star Aldebaran is one of the eyes and its reddish color signals an angry bull. The bottom or point of the v-shape is the nose and the star at the top of the v-shape across from Aldebaran is the other eye.

Close-up View with 7x50 Binoculars

Close-up View with 7×50 Binoculars

   The Hyades is a large open star cluster consisting of several hundred stars all of about the same age and at a distance of around 150 light years. The brighter reddish star Aldebaran, at a distance of about 70 light years, is not part of this open star cluster but is coincidentally in the line of sight toward the Hyades.

   
   
   
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.