Venus and Pleiades Star Cluster Conjunction
March 16, 2023
Astronomers of all ages and experience levels—get ready for a picture-perfect pairing of two celestial jewels in the evening sky. April 9 through 12, the “evening star,” Venus, will conjunct the Pleiades Star Cluster. This event will be easy for beginners to find in the sky with the bright planet nestled between the constellations Hyades and Taurus. Venus will pass 2.5 degrees south of the Pleiades on April 10 and 11. The best time to see the conjunction is just after sunset, both days, before the objects dip below the western horizon.
This conjunction is accessible to all astronomers, whether you have a 14” EdgeHD telescope, a SkyMaster binocular, or just your naked eye. Whatever optical aid you have available, use it! Any boost in power will enhance the conjunction for a more memorable viewing experience. Even a small 8x42 or 10x42 binocular will show Venus near Pleiades’ tight grouping of stars. Use a tripod, if you have one, to help stabilize your view. Otherwise, steady yourself against a table, wall, or car hood/trunk. Prop up your arms to minimize shaking. If you are a beginner and need help locating the conjunction, a planetarium app for your smartphone will point the way. Best of luck and clear skies!
Venus Passes through the Pleiades Star Cluster
Conjunctions of Venus and the Pleiades happen yearly, but the planet passes through the cluster only once every eight years. This rarer event last occurred on April 3, 2020, and will happen again on April 3, 2028.