Q: What is that little cluster of small stars I’m seeing rise around 7:30 – 8 p.m. in the east? Is it the Little Dipper?
A. You’re not looking at the Little Dipper but rather the Pleiades or “Seven Sisters” star cluster, one of the finest and most famous clusters. For most people, six stars are visible to the unaided eye. Through binoculars many more stars are visible, making this one of the finest celestial objects to view in binoculars or a wide-field telescope. To find the Pleiades tonight, go to a location away from local light sources (dark skies help but are not required) and look above the eastern horizon from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Depending on your location, Venus may appear to rise later due to mountains that may block it from view. Binoculars will help a great deal in spotting it from light-polluted locations.
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