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Binocular Icon 53: Melotte 25, The Hyades Cluster.

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#1 rodelaet



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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:44 PM

Melotte 25, the Hyades Cluster.

The head of the bull, Taurus, is an impressive naked eye open cluster. The Hyades are known since prehistoric times. According to the Greek mythology, the Hyades were the five daughters of Atlas. The cluster’s true distance is about 150 l-y. Aldebaran, the right eye of the Bull, is a foreground star at a distance of 68 l-y. The core of the cluster consists of the well known V-shape or the head of the Bull. Several double stars are visible without optical aid under a pristine sky. Delta Tauri and Theta Tauri are easily split. Sigma Tauri is harder to separate. The Hyades cluster is one of the nearest open clusters. Most of its members can be found in an area as large as 20° around the V-shape. The head of the Bull is a beautiful sight in a low power pair of binoculars, even under a light polluted sky. My 8x56 were almost to powerful to encompass the Hyades.

Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51° N )
Date : December 7, 2008
Time : around 22.00UT
Binoculars : Bresser Spezial-Jagd 8x56
FOV: 5.9°
Filter : none
Mount : Trico Machine Sky Window
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 3/5
Sky brightness : 18.98 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Nelm: 4.8
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.

(Note: if the sketch does look too dark on your monitor, try to darken the room.)

Attached Files

#2 frank5817



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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:28 PM


Great sketch. With this one we get a good measure of the field of view with those binoculars. Nice color on Aldebaran. The care you take to get it all correct is outstanding. :rainbow: :bow: :bow: :cool:

Frank :)

#3 CarlosEH



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Posted 01 February 2009 - 10:47 PM


An excellent observation of the Hyades Cluster. You have recorded this open cluster very nicely. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#4 rodelaet



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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:15 PM

Thanks, Carlos and Frank.

I included this sketch, for the occasional newbie observer, so he can see what to look for.

#5 Tom and Beth

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:58 PM


Something to aspire to...

#6 JayinUT


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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:31 PM

Beautiful! I can only hope that with a lot more practice that I can obtain the clarity, variety, and visual impression you provide. Someone just looking at the cluster for the first time gets a terrific impression of what to look for.

#7 Special Ed

Special Ed

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:16 AM


Excellent sketch. These three OC drawings you've posted show the value of binoculars as part of any stargazer's gear. Telescopes had been around for a while before anyone thought to look at something in the sky. Likewise, many people have never seen the night sky through binoculars. I always have a set at public events and there are always several folks who get their first look at the heavens through binocs. :)

#8 rodelaet



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Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:04 PM

Tom, Jay and Michael,

Thank you for the kind words.

Michael, I agree : a pair of bino's is of most added value for the stargazer.

This brings back memories of a night that I spend with both my son (who’s 10) and my nephew (he’s 11) under the stars. I had asked my nephew to bring along his binoculars. When he showed up, he was quite disappointed that I did not bring along any optical equipment. “But you promised me to show the stars”, he said. His disappointment quickly vanished when I launched my hidden green laser pointer. I asked the kids to follow the laser beam into infinity with their small bino’s. Then I started a tour of the heavens. They both lay down on the ground, side by side, looking up in the sky. An hour went by while I was telling them about the life and death of the stars and about the distances in space. I pointed the laser pointer at the desired deep-sky object; the boys followed the beam with their small scopes. Both were excited about the treasures they could discover for themselves in the sky. We had a very enjoyable evening, and never missed the presence of a large telescope. I still remember the twinkling in their eyes when we headed back indoor for a warm cup of chocolate milk.

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