Taurus Head-Butts the Moon


   Wednesday morning August 16th the 24-day old waning crescent Moon is within 2-3o from the reddish star Aldebaran and the rest of the stars of the open star cluster the Hyades, forming the v-shaped face of Taurus the Bull.

   
   
   With 10×50 binoculars the Hyades and the Moon will all fit within the field of view as this graphic is showing.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Triangulating with the Moon

   Tuesday morning, August 15th the 23-day old first quarter Moon will be the point of a celestial triangle with the two open star clusters, the Pleiades, and the Hyades as this graphic shows. The v-shaped Hyades forms the face of Taurus the Bull while the ‘dipper-shaped’ Pleiades lies along the Bull’s shoulder. Both open star clusters are about 8o from the Moon.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon Cruises Past Planets and Stars

feb5-bino
   Over the next several evenings the Moon, as it orbits toward the east and waxes from crescent to first quarter phase will pass by several planets, dwarf planets, and star clusters. On the evening of February 5th the Moon will be close to the reddish star Aldebaran, the ‘eye’ in the face of the angry bull, Taurus. This should make for a nice view with binoculars or low power eyepiece when the Moon will sort of overlay the stars of the open star cluster the Hyades.

   These two animated graphics show the sky as viewed from Quito Ecuador at 0o latitude, and my home latitude of approximately 40o North. They show the sky at one day intervals starting with February 1st and ending with February 5th.


   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Venus and the Sisters-Pictures

   It never fails! Whenever I start making plans for taking out the telescope, or for taking some night pictures, the weather goes in the opposite direction. So after a couple of nights of cloudy skies last night the skies were clear (after some cirrus clouds threatened to eclipse the sky early in the afternoon), so I set up my camera for some pictures of Venus near the open star cluster, the Pleiades. I am using a new camera control software called Helicon Remote on my Kindle HDX tablet. I also use their PC version on my laptop. Both programs allow me to see a live view of the scene, and to adjust my camera settings, including focus, remotely. My camera is not WiFi equipped so I connect with a USB cable.
   Here are two of my attempts. The first taken at 7:45 pm CDT while the twilight sky was not yet dark. The picture was taken with the following settings: f/5.6; 1 sec.; ISO-6400; 135mm. This one taken at 7:55 pm CDT using these settings: f/5.6; 1 sec.; ISO-3200; 190mm.

   Weather forecast this evening? Cloudy and rain – of course!

   
   
   
   
[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 The Sisters!

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   On the morning of Monday 21 July look toward the southeastern horizon for the waning crescent Moon to be about 6-7o away from the open star cluster known as the Pleiades, or the 7 Sisters. There are a variety of mythologies about these stars and why they are called the Seven Sisters even though most people only see 6 stars. Which too many folks looks like a small dipper shape. In darker skies it is possible to see up to 12 stars.
   
21july-bino   The Pleiades, or M-45, is an open cluster containing around 500 stars. In many time exposure pictures bluish-white nebulosity seems to surround the stars. The nebula is actually a Reflection Nebula, glowing from the light of the stars within the cluster. The Pleiades are easy to see with the unaided eye and become more spectacular when an optical aid is used.

   
   
[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.