Despite having passed opposition (and its best visibility for the year) a few months ago, Jupiter is still a bright object in the early evening sky and can be used to locate M44, the Beehive (aka the Praesepe) star cluster.
A fine sight in binoculars and telescopes at low power, the Beehive is a famous cluster that’s been known since ancient times. It can be easily seen from rural locations but under city skies it’s often lost in the light pollution. Fortunately, Jupiter and the Beehive can currently be seen close together with binoculars. With Jupiter on the left (eastern) edge of the field of view, the Beehive should appear on the far right (western) edge.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
00:55 UT – Venus appears 2.7° south of M45, the Pleiades open star cluster. (Venus: 75% illuminated, magnitude -4.1, diameter 14.7”. Naked eye, Taurus, evening sky. See yesterday’s post.)
17:10 UT – The waning gibbous Moon passes Pluto. (Pluto: magnitude 14.2. Sagittarius, pre-dawn sky.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are easily visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
Learn more about upcoming astronomical events in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle Edition and Paperback Edition) and 2016 An Astronomical Year (North American Kindle Edition.)
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at” gmail.com