Fri., Jan. 14 7:06 4:34
Sat., Jan. 15 7:06 4:35
Sun., Jan. 16 7:06 4:37
Mon., Jan. 17 7:05 4:38
Tues., Jan. 18 7:05 4:39
Wed., Jan. 19 7:04 4:40
Thurs., Jan. 20 7:03 4:41
Fri., Jan. 21 7:03 4:43
Tomorrow night’s gibbous moon appears in the zodiacal constellation Taurus. The moon is right beside Hyades, one of the most visible and largest star clusters in the night sky. The star cluster appears to most in the shape of a large V.
This is the head of the mythological Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran is the brightest star that appears in the cluster; it has a distinct orange color. Modern day astronomers discovered that Aldebaran is only in our line of sight and not a part of the star cluster. Aldebaran resides half way between us and the star cluster. The star cluster is about 150 million light years away. Aldebaran is 61 light years away.
Tomorrow night’s moon is an easy guide to finding Aldebaran. It is the brightest star closest to the moon. An even better time to look at Hyades comes when the moon is somewhere else in the sky. While the cluster looks like an assembly of at least 10 stars, there are considerably more to see with binoculars and a moonless night. Astronomers estimate there are over 300 stars in the cluster.
Nearby Pleiades is the more popular and smaller star cluster in Taurus; this cluster is considerably smaller than the Hyades. They look like a small dipper and also go by the name of Seven Sisters.