Venus with Pleiades in April

Venus with Pleiades in April

The western sky during Astronomical Twilight-- 9:29pm, April 10, 2023.Above~ View to the west about 9:30pm. Venus (bright dot) is in the same binocular FOV as the Pleiades.

Monday, April 10, 2023~     7:50 – 10pm

Location~ Moosehorn Creek, NB
Sky Conditions:   Clear, no wind at all. Haze on eastern & southern horizons.
Temp:  10° with 37% humidity
Sunset:  8:02 pm
Nautical Twilight:  8:33 pm
Astronomical Twilight:  9:10 pm
Total Darkness:   9:49 pm

Venus and the Pleiades~

Venus and the Pleiades in the same binocular field of view stole the show for me. Now that was nice!  I was using a pair of 8 X 56 binos. Venus looked like some weird pinkish/green object, shimmering and oscillating, a strange combination of colours in the atmosphere. Very bright. It would have been nice to capture through the scope, but too low for the Observatory wall. Would have to be on the ground with another scope. Besides, I was having fun with the binos.

Mercury was up to the northwest, but as usual blocked by trees. I have only ever seen it in the east here at this location. I also caught a glimpse of Uranus with binos, a beautiful grey-greenish kind of colour, distinct from the other objects in the sky around it. I don’t know if there is such a colour as slate green, but that is it.

I scanned along the western horizon. Sirius, M42 in Orion, the Hyades, Venus and the Pleiades of course, and on to the Double Cluster and see if I could get a glimpse of the Perseus Cluster. It was now to the north right over the roof, an astounding cluster of stars that completely filled the binocular field of view. 

Sirius is putting on quite the show right now, blinking, shimmering and changing colours like a UFO. 

The south-western sky during Astronomical Twilight-- 9:29pm, April 10, 2023.

A couple of different views looking south/southwest at 9:38pm.

The southern sky during Astronomical Twilight-- 9:38pm, April 10, 2023.

Looking east~

The eastern sky during Astronomical Twilight-- 9:10pm, April 10, 2023.Above~ The eastern sky from the Observatory at at 9:10 pm (start of Astronomical Twilight).

With no Moon to contend with, I was looking forward to catching up on some observing. My plan was to catch up on about four of Curt Nason’s Weekly Sky at a Glance posts which would all still be relevant. I wanted to view objects close to the horizon, but a lack of transparency on the southern and eastern horizons was causing some interference. With a bit of haze, the “dome” of Sussex lit right up as shown in the photo above.

I used the goto on the scope and looked at the Coma Cluster and the Beehive with the 21mm Ethos as my current vertigo problem makes looking straight up very difficult. The clusters were beautiful, and the sky was dark enough I could see them visually even without binos when I dared to glance upward. I used the Sky Tour feature of the AVX just to look around a bit, then I went back to the western sky with binos. There is so much there!  Very nice sky tonight.

Shut it down about 10 pm. Temps changed to 6° and 41% humidity. 


Venus and the Pleiades at 8x magnification, same FOV, 8×56 Binos
Uranus and Mars at 8x magnification 
Sirius, M42 in Orion, the Hyades at 8x magnification 
Double Cluster and the Perseus Cluster at 8x magnification 
Coma Cluster (Melotte 111) and the Beehive (M44) at 35 magnification

Scope– ES Comet Hunter – 152mm f/4.8 731mm Maksutov-Newtonian
Mount– Celestron AVX
Eyepiece used– 21mm Ethos 
Binoculars used~ Celestron 8×56


The PhotoPills App~ Exact time and age of the Lunar Cycle, sunset, twilight phases, etc. Great app.

Stellarium~ Great night sky app. Free, works without internet connection. 

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