The current evening apparition of Venus has been truly memorable and after cosying up to Jupiter and the Moon in recent weeks the queen of the planets entices the splendid Pleiades open star cluster (M45) into her clutches.
As the skies start to darken sufficiently tonight (2 April) around 8pm BST Venus lies under a degree (two full Moon widths) south west of the Pleiades and the view in binoculars and small telescopes will be spectacular! But it only gets better as on the early evening of 3 April Venus enters the eastern part of the cluster, although none of the seven Pleiads or 'Seven Sisters' are occulted. At 8pm Venus lies just under half a degree south of Alcyone (eta Tauri, mag. +2.8), the brightest star in the Pleiades. By the following evening (4 April) Venus lies just over half a degree west of Atlas (27 Tauri, mag.+3.6).
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