This week stargazing calendar lacks the excitement of last week (a comet and a meteor shower), but there are still a few events worth seeing:
October 26, 2010: The star Aldebaran, the orange “eye” of the Taurus constellation will line up to the right of the Moon. Aldebaran is an orange giant star with a diameter 44.2 times larger than our Sun’s, as seen in the schematic below:
October 27, 2010: The two most prominent star clusters in this period of the year will be in good view inside the Taurus constellation. The V-shaped Hyades cluster outlines the face of Taurus, the bull, while the smaller Pleiades cluster represents its shoulder.
The Pleiades star cluster. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory.
Below is a sky map of the Taurus constellation for your reference:
October 28, 2010: Venus will be at inferior conjunction. This means that you will not be able to see the planet due to the Sun’s intense glare. An inferior conjunction means that Venus will pass under the Sun in the sky without transiting it.
The Moon has a big impact on the visibility of celestial bodies in the night sky. So here are the Moon’s phases for this week: