Those looking to get up early can enjoy beautiful views of the waning crescent moon near the beautiful open star cluster known as the Pleiades. Also look for the glow of Earth’s brightness on the dark part of the moon.
The moon near the Pleiades and Aldebaran
For everyone around the world, the waning crescent moon will be near the twinkling Pleiades star cluster on the mornings of July 13 and 14, 2023. The Pleiades, shaped like a little dipper, is also called The Seven Sisters or Messier 45 (M45). They are a true family of stars, born together and still moving together through space as a family. And they are great for binocular viewing!
Also nearby you will find a bright red star. It is Aldebaran, the fiery eye of the Bull of Taurus. Aldebaran is one of the brightest stars in our sky. It is part of a group of V-shaped stars – the Hyades – that make up the face of Taurus. In a dark enough sky, Hyades should be easy to spot.
Incidentally, although Aldebaran appears among them, it is not a member of the Hyades star cluster. The fact is that it is actually much closer to us in space than other stars in the Hyades group.
When can you see them?
The Moon and Taurus will rise above the eastern horizon shortly after 2 a.m. (local time). So look for it in the dark morning sky before the sky begins to shine, announcing the advent of the morning sun.
Since the display of stars, moon and planets varies depending on your location on the globe, we suggest that you give it a try Stellarium To get an accurate star chart for your site.
The secret of the “lost” star
The Thuraya is also known as the Seven Sisters. However, many people can only see six stars with their eyes alone. How many stars do you see? Some keen observers have reported seeing 11 stars. Of course, you’ll need a dark sky to see some of the fainter stars.
Through binoculars, those six stars suddenly became from 30 to 70 stars. And binoculars are ideal for looking at the chandelier. The cluster is so wide that it spills out of a telescope’s field of view. No matter how many stars you see, the Pleiades are a common pattern of stars and well worth the effort of getting up early on a summer morning to catch them and the moon.
Bottom line: Watch the moon near the Pleiades – a beautiful open star cluster – on the mornings of July 13 and 14, 2023. Nearby you’ll find the bright star Aldebaran.
For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s Night Sky Guide
For more videos of amazing night sky events, visit EarthSky YouTube page.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”