The Hyades Star Cluster is the closest cluster to the solar system containing myriads of stars some of which can be observed with the unaided eye. It is located at a distance of 150 light-years away from us. The four brightest stars Gamma Tauri, Delta 1 Tauri, Epsilon Tauri, and Theta Taur makes a V shape known as the head of the Bull, Tauru where Epsilon Tauri is the eye. Epsilon Tauri is familiar with its planetary satellite which is exceptional in Ursa Major Moving Group. However, the brightest star in the V is Aldebaran.
Quick Guide to Observe the Hyades Star
The Hyades star cluster can be found in the western sky from January to April. Make sure you use a star map; it will be quite helpful. The constellations of Taurus the Bull, the Pleiades, and Orion’s Belt can all be used to locate it. From March to June, around 10 o’clock in the evening, is the optimum time to see the Big Dipper. A fragmented Hyades Star Cluster is visible. Make use of a broad field of view to allow the telescope to hold the largest possible portion. 8-10 inch telescopes are necessary to see The Hyades Star Cluster.
How to find the Hyades Star Cluster?
There are three ways to find Hyades Star Cluster:
By using Orion’s Belt
- Look for the three blue-white stars of Orion’s belt in the constellation Orion the hunter.
- Draw a line westward through the belt stars to the reddish bright star Aldebaran, the Bull’s fiery red eye. Aldebaran is not a real member of the Hyades Star Cluster, but it is used to find the Hyades as they are only about 65 light-years distant.
By using the Pleiades
- Look for the bright star cluster Pleiades. The Hyades is located very close to the Pleiades.
By using the constellation Taurus the Bull
- Spot the constellation Taurus the Bull from the star chart. Point to the center of the constellation. The Hyades star cluster is located just near the center.
What is the best time to observe the Hyades Star Cluster?
You can look for the Hyades star cluster in the western sky in January and February whenever the night falls. By March and April, it progresses towards the western edge. The shape of this cluster is like the alphabet ‘V’ and Aldebaran is its brightest star. This unique shape made it very easy to identify. From the Northern Hemisphere, you can see the Hyades from around January to April in the evening sky.
Tip to observe the Hyades Star Cluster in the best way.
- The Hyades Star Cluster is scattered. Use as wide a field of view as possible so that the most portion can fit in the telescope.
What can you see in the Hyades Star Cluster with a telescope?
- The Hyades, mostly known as Melotte 25 is a popular celestial site mostly due to Greek mythology. According to Greek mythology, the Hyades were credited with receiving a place in the sky for nursing Zeus’ son Dionysus.
- Theta- 2 Tauri is the brightest star in the Hyades with a magnitude of + 3.4.
- Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) is an orange star that makes the team with Theta- 2 Tauri. However, it is not a member of The Hyades star cluster.
- The Seven sisters, also known as the Pleiades star cluster is also located in the constellation Taurus.
- Delta1,2 (δ1,2) Tauri makes a real double star that is warmed up by Theta.
- Another double star Sigma1,2 (σ1,2) Tauri is located 1° southeast of Aldebaran.
- You will find Kappa1,2 (κ1,2) Tauri 3° north of the “V” shape of Taurus.
- There are more than 130 bright stars at around 9 magnitudes easily visible by small telescopes.
- There are some other double stars visible by medium-range (10-15 inch) telescopes.
- β pm 62 (81 Tau): A double star with a magnitude of 5.5, 9.4 and a separation of 162″; PA = 339 °. They can be split by any scope.
- Σ 554 (80 Tau): A double star difficult to spot and split with a separation of 1.5″; PA = 16° and magnitudes of 5.7, 8.1.
- Delta3 (δ3): Triple star with magnitudes of 4.2 (A), 7.5 (B) / 8.7 (C); PA = 341°; and 1.8″, 77″ separation.
- Σ 545: low-power double star at a separation of 18.5″; PA = 58° with magnitudes 6.9, 8.8.
- Σ 559: Equal stars on an east-west line at a separation of 3.1″ and magnitudes 7.0, 7.0.
- You can observe some nebulae too in that area.
- Sh 2-239: Emission nebula, located in the constellation Taurus. You will need at least 8-inch scope to make it visible.
- Hind’s Variable Nebula: Known as T Tauri Nebula or NGC 1555 appears as a faint curl of haze.
- There you may find a lot of tiny UGC galaxies in the star cluster Hyades. With a 15-inch scope, you will find at least 8 of them.
- UGC 3102: fuzzy but easy to find a spot with a bright visible core.
- IC 374: small but elongated east-west with an identifiable nucleus.
- UGC 3089: located southside of a triangle of the field of stars. It is round and fuzzy with a bright core.
- UGC 3129: This galaxy is hard to identify as it is faint and dark.
- UGC 3095: It is about 45 ″ across with a bright core. This galaxy is a part of the small triangle of stars and
What telescope to see The Hyades Star Cluster?
8-10 are great telescopes to see The Hyades Star Cluster. A list of telescopes has more telescope options that can be used to see Hyades Star Cluster very clearly.
What size telescope to see the Hyades Star Cluster?
With an 8-inch telescope, you will get great views of The Hyades Star Cluster. The more the aperture, the better and sharper the views and the details. It is better to use at least 10-inch telescope so that you can observe the nearby sky treasures too.
What magnification is required to see the Hyades Star Cluster?
Use 140- 150x magnification to see the Hyades Star Cluster with details.
Enjoying the Hyades Star Cluster? Here are other things to see with your telescope.
No doubt, the view of the Hyades Star Cluster is breathtaking. However, with the same telescope, you can observe more than thousands of night sky gems. You can get the best views of the planets of our solar system with their moons and other features. Viewing Jupiter Through A Telescope can guide you to observe the biggest planet in our solar system in the best ways. Viewing Nebula Through A Telescope can show you how to find colorful nebulae with a scope. However, you can choose any of the night sky objects from ‘List of things to see with a telescope’ to plan for a great star gazing session.