One of the brightest objects in the sky is set to make appearances on Earth for the remainder of this month. Venus will appear with the moon on April 17, then make a cameo with the Pleiades on April 24.
Night owls will see a sliver of a crescent moon on the evening of Tuesday, April 17 just two days past mid-phase, and at this point it will be only five percent illuminated. To its upper right will be a faint but bright and unmistakable light of Venus. As the sky darkens, the Pleiades star cluster will emerge above Venus, offering spectacular views.
Pleiades Star Cluster
Known as the “Seven Sisters,” the Pleiades looks similar to a tiny misty dipper of stars. It is mostly associated with the winter season, which is why astronomers often coin November as the month of the Pleiades, and also because this is when it shines from dusk until dawn.
Then the following day, April 18, a wider crescent moon is set to appear hovering toward the bottom of the Hyades star cluster. Only the moon will be visible at the outset, but once the sky turns completely dark — after around 9 p.m. — the cluster should show up there, glistening in the night sky.
Hyades Star Cluster
The Hyades star cluster is the closest star cluster to Earth — just 150 light years. Easily spotted in the night sky, it has a distinct V shape that edges toward the western half of the night sky by March and April evenings.
It would be good to have binoculars ready, as viewing the night sky through them will definitely enhance the experience. Still, Venus will be hard to miss, especially this month. Venus will stay out longer after sunsets in April and will remain visible in the night sky until October.
Then finally on April 24, also a Tuesday, wait an hour past sunset for the Pleiades star cluster to show up located to the upper-right of Venus.
Make sure to look out for Venus throughout this month of April. Also, feel free to check out another one of Tech Times’s nightwatching guide, this time for Jupiter, which will also shine brightly this month. Hopefully, excessive light pollution would not ruin the mesmerizing views to come.
Will you be nightwatching this April? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below.