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Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers

Venus visits M44

10 Sep 2012, 10:24 UTC
Venus visits M44
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These days planet Venus is in the constellation of Cancer and rising early at 3am. From September 12th to 15th September Venus will pass very close to open cluster M44, popularly called Beehive cluster. Under good sky conditions, M44 is visible to naked eyes but best view is with a pair of binoculars. Take the binoculars out from 12th to 15th of September and point it to the brightest morning star, Venus, in wide angle binoculars like 10X50 M44 should be visible right-away left of Venus., in little smaller field of view binoculars like 15X70 you may have to take Venus to the right corner of the field to make both Venus and M44 visible in the same field. Twilight starts creeping in from 4:45am, the time before twilight should make it an amazing sight. Beehive cluster or M44 as its know is an open cluster has a magnitude of 3.7. The age of the cluster is approximately 700 million years old and its distance is 577 light years. Venus on the other hand is bright -4.2 magnitude and distance is approximately 140 million kilometers.

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