Ohio, the nation, and the world have paused to slow the spread of the potentially-deadly coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 disease. In compliance with state and local restrictions, all meetings and events regularly staged by the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) are canceled; none of the group’s scheduled activities will take place until further notice. Updates will be published on this website and on the CAA’s Twitter.
In the mean time, we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and will remain so. Remaining apart is currently our only means of prevention. Let’s hope medical science can quickly find effective treatments and vaccines so that we can be spared future illness, death, and hardship brought on by COVID-19.
Once every eight years, as dictated by orbital mechanics, planet Venus crosses the Pleiades star cluster. The star cluster is one of those nearest Earth and easy to spot: to the right and running ahead of the great Orion constellation. It’s an open cluster consisting of about 1,000 gravitationally-bound stars though only a few of them are visible to the unaided eye. Longer camera exposures reveal more and more stars in the group. The before, during, and after-transit conjunction positions of Venus and the Pleiades make for a lovely sight by eye, telescope, and a favorite target for astrophotographers. Shown below are some of the images CAA members have made of the April 2020 Venus/Pleiades combinations.
by William Murmann, CAA President