This week Venus itself will be passing the Seven Sisters in the sky, this meaning we’re all in for quite the treat. After sunset looking to the west is a good idea according to Earth Sky.
The beginning of April is going to be quite full of bright things within our night sky and this passing is sure to be an incredible sight for all who take the time to check it out. Whether you’re looking with your binoculars, through a telescope, or with your naked eye things should be quite visible. Venus is a very bright planet and if you know where to look, you can’t miss it.
Sky At Night Magazine wrote as follows regarding this passing:
On 1 April, it lies 2˚ west-southwest of mag. +2.8 Alcyone (Eta (η) Tauri), the brightest star in the Pleiades open cluster.
This apparent separation is small enough to provide an excellent opportunity for astrophotography and heralds an even more spectacular conjunction between the cluster and planet over the next couple of days.
On 2 April, Venus will appear 1˚ from Alcyone. This will be a glorious sight through binoculars or a scope using a wide-field eyepiece.
Cameras with longer focal length lenses or attached to a wide-field telescope can be used to achieve additional image scale.
Venus appears against the cluster stars on 3 April, tracking one-quarter of a degree south of Alcyone.
Photography will present an interesting dilemma here. Venus is so bright that any extended exposure used in an attempt to bring out the reflection nebulosity associated with the cluster is likely to result in a blown out, over-exposed planet.
On 4 April, Venus appears east of the cluster. The main shape of the Pleiades is often described as appearing like a box with a handle.
On 4 April, the handle gets an extension thanks to the positioning of the planet. On 5 April, Venus maintains its eastern march, now appearing 1.7˚ to the east of Alcyone.
As you can see above there are different areas to look towards as time passes so, be aware of what date it is when you decide to take a peek. Find the Pleiades and from there Venus should not be far. The clearer the sky the better the view, so if you live somewhere out in the open you’re in the perfect place to view this event.
For more information on this please check out the video below. While it might not sound like a lot, it’s a bright moment we are all able to experience during these rough times. I for one will be taking the time to view each night until Venus is no longer visible.