A rare cosmic event, which is the alignment of the Pleiades star cluster and the planet Venus, is currently happening and can be viewed from anywhere in the world. The cosmic phenomenon will take place the entire weekend and can be viewed through a special live stream event.
The Pleiades is an open star cluster that's also known as Messier 45 and the Seven Sisters. It is located within the Taurus constellation and is one of the star clusters that are nearest to Earth.
Venus And Pleiades Conjunction
The conjunction between Venus and Pleiades is an annual event. However, even though this happens regularly, the closest alignment between these two cosmic bodies only occurs in April and every eight years. The last time Venus was spotted within the cluster during a conjunction was in 2012.
This year, Venus started approaching the star cluster on April 2. According to astronomers, the bright planet will continue with this path and cross Pleiades. It is expected to enter the cluster from Earth's perspective on April 3. Venus will exit Pleiades on April 4 and will continue to move away from the cluster, EarthSky reported.
Catching The Rare Cosmic Event
The Venus and Pleiades conjunction can be best viewed after sunset. Sky gazers will be able to spot Venus in the west, which will appear like a bright star in the sky.
Since both the planet and star cluster are bright enough to be spotted from Earth, the conjunction can be viewed without the use of special equipment. Of course, using binoculars and telescopes can help in providing a closer view of the rare cosmic event.
Live Stream Event For Venus-Pleiades Conjunction
Those who won't be able to witness the rare event due to their location may still watch it through a live stream event that will be hosted by the Virtual Telescope in Italy. According to the head of the Virtual Telescope Project, astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, the live stream event will be available worldwide.
The event also aims to provide people who are stuck at home due to quarantine protocols triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak an opportunity to catch the rare alignment of Venus and Pleiades. "To bring some joy from this cosmic show to people worldwide, often quarantined to limit the dissemination of COVID-19, the Virtual Telescope will share this celestial treasure with everyone, offering a live view covering the climax of this cosmic hug between Venus and the Pleiades," he told Express.