2020, July 25: Morning Star Venus Moves Eastward in Taurus


Venus in Taurus, July 25, 2020.
2020, July 25: Venus in Taurus. The planet continues to move eastward among the stars. It is moving toward ζ Tau. This morning it is 6.5° to the upper right of ζ Tau and 8.6° to the lower left of Aldebaran.

Brilliant Venus shines brightly this morning among the stars of Taurus the Bull.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Brilliant Venus shines from the eastern sky this morning in front of the stars of Taurus the Bull. It appears 8.6° to the lower left of Aldebaran and 6.5° to the upper right of Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau on the photo above), the Southern Horn of Taurus.  Venus continues to move eastward during the remainder of July as it nears ζ Tau.

Rosy Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster form a sideways “V” to represent the head of the Bull to the upper right of Venus  The single bright star represents the creature’s eye. Aldebaran is about 125 times brighter than the sun and 40 times our central star’s diameter. 

The Hyades is a well-studied “galactic” star cluster; that is, the cluster is part of the plane of the Milky Way galaxy, like the sun and solar system, but unlike the globular clusters that revolve around a galactic halo. The Hyades has over 125 members that are heading in space toward a spot near the star Betelgeuse.

The famous Pleiades star cluster (known to school children as the “Seven Sisters”) is above Aldebaran and the Hyades. To the unaided eye, six or seven stars are visible.  Through a binocular, more than a dozen stars can be seen.  In the photo above, nearly two dozen stars are visible.  Detailed studies count over 200 stars in this cluster.

Astronomers think that stars are formed in clumps, somewhat like bunches of grapes.  The mutual gravitational pull of the stars though is too weak to keep the clusters together.  Over time, stars escape, decreasing the mutual gravitation attraction.

 

The Pleiades cluster is thought to be younger than the Hyades.  The Pleiades cluster’s bright blue stars have short astronomical lives.  The cluster is thought to be about 100 million years old while the Hyades could be six times older.

On these warm clear mornings of summer explore Taurus and its star clusters with a binocular.  Each morning, notice the location of Venus within the constellation.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.