On the night of January 11, 2014, the waxing gibbous moon has edged closer to Aldebaran, brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull. You should be able to see Aldebaran shining in the moon’s glare tonight. Also, look for the Pleiades star cluster, which lies to the west of tonight’s moon (Aldebaran is to the moon’s east). If you can’t see the Pleiades, or Aldebaran, in the glare of the moon, try using binoculars.
The chart below displays a larger swath of sky than the featured chart at top. That’s because we’re showing you how to star-hop from the three stars of Orion’s Belt to the star Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster.
Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster lie within the constellation Taurus the Bull.
Like any constellation, Taurus the Bull is much easier to make out on a dark, moonless night. Starting the last week of January, you’ll have a couple weeks of moon-free evenings for viewing the Bull.
This evening, the moon nearly pinpoints the sun’s position relative to the backdrop stars for late May. Every year, the sun in its annual journey in front of the constellations of the Zodiac passes through Taurus from about May 14 to June 21.