Saturday, April 8, 2017

Melotte 25, The Hyades

Embedded in the midsts of the Bull, there is a bright Star Cluster. It hosts Aldebaran, an orange giant star which is also the alpha star of the constellation Taurus.  You actually don’t need a telescope to enjoy this huge star cluster, but a good pair of eyes will do a good job even under light polluted skies.

If you are able to locate Orion and The Pleiades, it won´t be difficult to spot the Hyades. It is possible you have seen it before because it is located right in the middle of those. With just the eyes, it look like an isosceles triangle formed by 6 bright stars (7 if you are able to discern a double star in it) including, of course, Aldebaran. If the plan is to explore inside the cluster, a pair of binoculars will do the job well. The cluster is large and therefore a wide FOV, larger than 5 Arc degrees, is preferred to see it all at once.  A small pair of binoculars (10x50 or 7x50) or a finderscope (8x50 or 9x50) will do an amazing job gathering the whole cluster and leaving some magnification left to see more stars in it.

I sketched this cluster for the first time back in 2012 from my severely light polluted skies in Bogota. With just the eyes, I was able to see the traingular shape playing in the sky with the Pleiades and Jupiter at that time was sailing through Taurus´territory.  

In these days, the Bull is following the sunset so it may be available for just 1 hour before the dawn of the sun. I have been able to see 10 stars in the triangular area at the edge of my suburban skies. How many are you able to catch with just your eyes?

Clear skies,


Edited by Jennifer Steinberg (editor in chief).


  1. Looks good! Enjoyed seeing the interesting article about "The Bull" and star clusters. Just finished a study about astronomy at school.

  2. Thanks Robert! I hope you have find very interesting the study about "The Bull". It has wonderful deep sky objects like Crab Nebula ( and The Pleiades (