Pleiades (M45)

Globulars or Open, clusters of stars can be neat viewing.
Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pleiades (M45)

Post by Christopher K. »

The evening of Saturday the 4th, M45 receives a visitor--the Moon. They'll be too far apart to call it a conjunction, but after 8:15pm CDT go out and look in the east-northeast for M45. The Moon will be eleven degrees away.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pleiades (M45)

Post by Christopher K. »

Orion pursued the Pleiads for seven years, so the myth goes. Zeus placed them in the Heavens as a permanent escape, but as fate would have it Orion died and earned a place in the sky himself. The line formed by Orion's belt stars (extending west-northwest) leads almost exactly to the Pleiades--it's off by about three degrees. Both Orion in the south and the Pleiades in the southwest can be seen for the next two weeks at ~7:30pm CST.

More information:
https://www.naic.edu/~gibson/pleiades/p ... _myth.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pleiades (M45)

Post by Christopher K. »

The waxing crescent Moon will slide past the Pleiades and Aldebaran from the 21st to the 23rd. There's just a week or so left to see M45 in a full-dark evening sky.

Keep 21 April to 25 April in mind. On those evenings M45 and Venus will conjunct, with fewer than four degrees separating them on the 23rd. A low western horizon will be mandatory for viewing.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pleiades (M45)

Post by Christopher K. »

What if I said that a beautiful celestial event which occurs only every eight years was taking place in just a few nights. Would you be curious?

Our brightest planet is Venus, and the brightest cluster is the Pleiades. Every eight years the two come together in a marvelous conjunction--but actually it more than that. A conjunction is when two bright objects get very close in the sky (from our point of view). The two will conjunct, but then Venus will actually pass in front of the Pleiades! This will happen the early evening of Friday 3 April as the two set in the west.

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