• Larry Glick

Venus and Star Cluster Pleiades

There is a treat for those with a good unencumbered view of the western sky after sunset. The brightest planet in our sky, Venus is hanging fairly high in the west. The planet is well poised for seeing by those who even have a limited view. Venus resides now in the zodiacal constellation Taurus, a constellation we normally associate with late autumn and winter.

Taurus has an interesting star cluster that gets plenty of attention, Pleiades. The Pleiades is a small assembly of stars, almost looks like a "tiny" dipper. It gets a lot of attention in the winter. It goes by another name: Seven Sisters. There are certainly a lot more stars in the cluster than seven.

If you can find Venus in the sky, and the lighting is perfect, you've got a chance to see Venus really close to the cluster in the nights ahead. Those with binoculars will get the best show. Venus will appear to be so close that in a pair of binoculars, they are in the same field of view.

Take note that the movement of Venus will appear different every night in the coming week. Venus will be nearest the cluster early in the week. Don't let anyone tell you that the movement of the planets is slow. If you can look at Venus over the next several nights, you'll see that Venus gets around, getting closer to the star cluster and then pulling away by the end of next week.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., March 31 6:26 7:05
Sat., April 1 6:25 7:06
Sun., April 2 6:23 7:07
Mon., April 3 6:21 7:08
Tues., April 4 6:20 7:09
Wed., April 5 6:18 7:10
Thurs., April 6 6:16 7:12
Fri., Jan. -- 6:15 7:13
Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
March 24 53 44 0.06
March 25 52 33 T
March 26 48 40 0.24
March 27 56 31 0.00
March 28 56 39 0.11
March 29 43 30 0.05
March 30 50 33 T


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 43º F


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