Earth-sky is a wealth of information if you enjoy astronomy. As I’m writing the second book of my futuristic series, INTERVENUS for teen and new adult readers, I need to know what my characters see from the planet Venus. Betrayal at Crater’s Edge will follow A Brand New Address.
Tonight, March 23rd, looking from Earth, as soon as darkness falls, look westward to see the waxing crescent moon shining above the dazzling planet Venus and below the Pleiades star cluster. Venus, the third-brightest celestial object to light up the heavens after the sun and moon, comes out first thing at dusk. You’ll have to wait until nightfall to see the Pleisades star cluster, which is visible to the unaided eye. The Pleiades is also known as the Seven Sisters.
Most people can see six Pleiades stars with the eye alone, although those with exceptional vision might be able to see a few more fainter Pleiades stars. If you have binoculars, by all means aim them at this beautiful dipper-shaped cluster to see more Pleiades stars popping into view. This cluster consists of hundreds of sibling stars, all of which were born from the same cloud of interstellar gas and dust some 100 million years ago.
At a distance of 430 light-years, The Pleiades cluster is one of the closer star clusters to Earth.