How to Spot the Pleiades Cluster

The Pleiades open star cluster is a cluster of blue dwarf stars visible in the night sky, but takes some skill to spot with the naked eye. If you live in a large urban city, like New York, stop reading this article because there is no way you are going to be able to see it.

Steps

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    Know where to look, approximately. The cluster itself is actually very bright, but is far away from Earth, and therefore, difficult to spot with the naked eye. First thing, know where to look in the sky. The cluster is generally somewhere between the moon and the Orion constellation. Locate the moon, (shouldn't be too hard), and then locate Orion.
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    If the moon is not visible, (by this if it is below the horizon), but Orion is, the cluster is probably east of Orion. If the moon is visible but Orion is not, look to the west of the moon.
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    Make sure all nearby light sources are off. If there is any light pollution at all then the cluster will be extremely difficult to find.
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    Look directly at between Orion and the moon. You should be looking high into the sky.
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    If you wear glasses for distance vision correction, put them on.
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    Squint if you have to, but you should eventually be able to see a faint blue light, not a single star, in the sky. If you look closer, you can even make out the individual stars, an may even notice the dipper shaped pattern they make.
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    Try using a telescope or some binoculars for a better view.
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    Congrats. You have just spotted the Pleiades star cluster.

Article Info

Categories: Astronomy