Venus in the Pleiades tonight

Posted: April 3, 2020 in Science
Tags: , ,

I just checked my planetarium program, and (viewed from Tucson) Venus will be in the Pleiades cluster tonight. If you have binoculars or a small telescope, haul ’em out and enjoy. Venus is the extremely bright object in the northwest part of the sky. It might be so bright that it’ll wash out the Pleiades, but it’s worth checking out anyway. It’d probably be a good idea to first look before it’s fully dark, so as to avoid the washout effect.

(Update at 7:10: I’ve been doing this for the last half hour or so about every five minutes through my 90mm refractor, and it’s really cool to see more and more stars start to show; when I started just after sunset, all I could see was Venus. Further update at 7:25 — Venus is close to the center of the Pleiades, and I can see about two dozen of them, but the glare/washout effect is starting to become pronounced.)

As well, Venus is in its crescent phase (looks like a miniature crescent moon), and you might be able to see the crescent with something as low-power as 10X or 12X  binoculars. Almost any telescope will show it. (Update: just tried that using zoom binoculars, and couldn’t see the crescent until I was approaching 20X.)

  1. sjhigbee says:

    What a comfort to know the planets and stars are still where they ought to be… Thank you for the timely reminder!


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