Eyes on Monday's sky

Mar 25

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3/25/2012 4:55 PM  RssIcon

On Monday, March 26, there is a lovely grouping of celestial objects in the night sky.  From the horizon up, look to the west about an hour after sunset and spot Jupiter closer to the horizon, and the brilliant Venus near the slim crescent Moon.  

But it gets better about 30 to 60 minutes later.  The lovely Pleiades star cluster - fantastic in a set of binoculars - is visible just 6 degrees from the Moon and only 7 from Venus.  So you can find them just by training binoculars on the Moon / Venus, and moving them up from there.  Just as the Moon and planet are leaving the field of view, the Pleiades should move into view.  And don't overlook the larger Hyades star cluster near the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus, just a hop away from the Pleiades (about twice the distance of the previous jump).  For more information about what's up in the sky this week, see the video "Eyes on the Sky: March 26 thru April 1" for info on these celestial motions, as well as some fascinating stars to see in Ursa Major that often go overlooked.

Remember to turn lights off, shield them down or install dark-sky friendly lighting fixtures.  Keep your eyes on the sky and see what's up!

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.