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Observations made in the constellation Taurus:

M45 (Pleiades) (Open Cluster, in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 50-mm binoculars   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Oct 4 04:15:00 2017 UT   Obs. no.: 2031

Last evening, before I went to bed, I observed The Pleiades & Hyades with my 10X50 Binoculars. Most of the Pleiades contain hot blue stars which are still close together since their birth. The older Hyades cluster has more cooler yellow looking stars that are spread more out from each other. The Hyades also have a few binocular doubles within the cluster also. Red Aldeberon is an old dying star that is much closer to us & is not a member of the Hyades Cluster.

Moon (Moon, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Mark D. Schneider (e-mail: markd_s@yahoo.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: Garden Grove, California, United States of America
Light pollution: light   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Nov 14 03:00:00 2016 UT   Obs. no.: 1988

Supermoon rising and was bright.

Moon (Moon, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Apr 16 00:00:00 2013 UT   Obs. no.: 1888

On the night of 4/15, my friend Joe & I observed a nice triangle in the sky of the crescent moon, Jupiter & Sirius. This triangle covered a large swath of the western sky. A nice sight.

Meteor (Meteor, est. mag -1, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Dec 13 02:00:00 2009 UT   Obs. no.: 1840

With rain appraoching the northeast tomorrow night, my friend Steve and I decided to try to observe some Geminid meteors tonight. I was able to see a total of five meteors, four of which were bright and yellow colored. The four bright ones were about -1 magnitude and appeared well to the right of Gemini. Hopefully it will clear up tomorrow night and I will be able to catch a few more meteors.

Moon (Moon, est. mag -6, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue May 26 00:30:00 2009 UT   Obs. no.: 1824

Last evening my brother Anthony and my friend Steve Borer observed the one day old crescent moon. In Steve's Dob we were still able to observe craters on the small lighted side of the moon. Since the moon was well up from the horizon we were able to observe it for more than a half hour and at high power we were able to see the moon waxing in size right before our eyes.That was the first time I was able to see the crescent moon wax like that before my eyes.

Mercury (Planet, est. mag -0.5, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Mass, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sat Apr 18 00:15:00 2009 UT   Obs. no.: 1820

Last evening, my friends Steve Borer, Rob Masud, Kathy Dzubaty, Peggy Cummings and I observed the Planet Mercury with Steve's 6" dob. Mercury is now about a 45% crescent in our scope. In the southern hemishere there was a large dark albedo feature which was not to difficult to see. It was probably one of the dark mare regions on the planet. I observe Mercury quite often and seeing albedo features is not difficult. With binoculars and the naked eye mercury had a yellow look to it. On most occasions Mercury has a pink tinge to it. Mercury will be in the western sky right after sunset for the rest of this month so get your scopes and enjoy.

Meteor (Meteor, est. mag -4, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Aug 13 03:45:00 2008 UT   Obs. no.: 1797

Last night my friend Steve Borer and I went to the beach to observe the persiad Meteor Shower. Between 11:45 PM and 2:30 AM EDT we counted more than 20 meteors. Three of the meteors left smoke trails and most of the persiads were yellow. The one exception was a bright -4 magnitude persiad that was colored blue and it left a smoke trial for ten to fifteen seconds. All in all, it was a great night of viewing.

M45 (Pleiades) (Open Cluster, in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 50-mm binoculars   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Apr 9 01:00:00 2008 UT   Obs. no.: 1772

This evening my friends Joey Maltese, his wife Cindy and I observed the crescent moon seeming to bump up against the Pleiades Open Star Cluster with my 10X50 binoculars. The crescent moon was lying on its back and was showing a lot of earthshine. Just above the upper left hand side of the moon lay the Pleiades. Seeing these two objects next to each other was very impressive.

Satellite (Satellite, est. mag 1, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Tue Feb 19 23:15:57 2008 UT   Obs. no.: 1762

This evening I observed satellite USA 193 which the navy will try to shoot down tomorrow. This satellite is so low, it passed across the sky more rapidly than most satelites do. The first magnitude brightness was steady so I guess the satellite is tumbling at a very slow rate. Anyway, I'm glad I got to see it before it falls on my head.

Satellite (Satellite, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Mark D. Schneider (e-mail: markd_s@yahoo.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: Garden Grove, California, United States of America
Light pollution: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Feb 17 02:45:00 2008 UT   Obs. no.: 1761

USA 193 (NROL-21) made a "final" transit from the Southwest and passed Aldebaran with Mars (in Auriga?) and also the Moon was East of the entire area; not only THAT, with the Shuttle still docked to the ISS, both made a wonderful passage from the Northwest until it compared itself with Sirius before entering the Earth's shadow.

Satellite (Satellite, est. mag -7, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: Milford, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Feb 10 23:20:00 2008 UT   Obs. no.: 1760

This evening my friend Steve Borer and I watched the -7 magnitude Iridium 47 Satellite pass by. It was one of the brightest iridium flares that I've seen. Ten minutes later we watched the ISS, with the space shuttle attached, also pass by. It looked to be about -2 magnitude.

Mars (Planet, est. mag .2, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Sep 20 04:45:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1711

Early this morning I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. As the dust on Mars slowly continues to settle and Mars continues to draw closer to Earth I find I can see more albedo shadings om Mars. There also appears to be a polar hood developing on the south pole. Mars is about 80% waxing gibbous also. I also got up just before dawn to observe Venus. Venus is now about 20% waxing crescent. This time I was not able to see any albedo shading on Venus. Later on in the morning I also observed the sun with my sunspotter Solar Telescope. The sun's face is still completely blank. No spots at all.

Mars (Planet, est. mag 02, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Sep 13 04:45:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1709

Early this morning I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. I am now able to observe more albedo markings which shows the martian dust storm is winding down. Also Mars is looking more orangy to the naked eye which also indicates the storm is slowly winding down. I then attached my Star Spectroscope to observe the bright star Aldebaran. Aldebaran shows three spectral lines which means it's an old cool star. However, Aldebaran is not as old or as cool as Betelgeuse, with seven spectral lines, and Antares with four spectral lines. With a 32mm eyepiece I compared and contrasted the two open clusters The Hyades and The Pleiades. The Pleiades contain mostly young blue stars with nebulousity showing around The Pleiades' bright stars while the Hyades contain mostly yellow older stars with no nebulousity.

Mars (Planet, est. mag .3, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Sep 5 05:15:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1707

This morning I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. It looks like the duststorm is really starting to wind down as reported by other amateur astronomers. I am now able to see some dark features on Mars and I think I can see what's left of the south polar ice cap. Mars is now starting to look yellow orange in color with the naked eye. This is also an indication of the duststorm weakening. Mars is also about 85% waxing gibbous. Just before sunrise I got up to observe Venus. Venus is now about 15% waxing crescent. The slim crescent of Venus looks exactly like the letter C. I also saw some faint albedo markings on the lit part of Venus. Later in the morning I completed my trifecta by observing the sun with my Sunspotter Solar Telescope. There are no sunspots on the face of the sun today.

Mars (Planet, est. mag .3, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Aug 27 06:30:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1702

Early this morning I observed Mars with my 127mm MAK. The waxing gibbous phase on Mars is about 75%. While the dust storm has weakened slightly the yellow color caused by the dust storm is still very obvious. Aldebaran next to Mars has a more orangy look to it. Through the dust I can barely make out hints of Mars' dark regions. Anyone with even the naked eye can check to see if the dust storm is weakening my comparing the color of Mars with the color of Aldebaran.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -.5, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Jul 3 07:15:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1676

Other amateur astronomers have reported and photographed a growing dust storm on Mars. With this in mind I got up before sunrise to observe Mars with my 127mm MAK. In my scope Mars' 65% percent waxing gibbous phase looks bright yellow to me. The disc is now large enough so I should have been able to see some albedo spots on Mars. I think that Mars being so bright yellow in my scope and with my naked eye indicates that the dust storm may be planet wide. Other astronomers with bigger scopes will have to answer that question. Also I couldn't see the south polar cap because it has shrunk so fast from a month ago. Mars is now at its closest to the sun and that would probably explain the dust storm and rapidly melting ice cap. I also observed the sun this morning with my Sunspotter Solar Telescope. Sunspot #961 still looks quiet and it will probably rotate off the sun's face in about four or five days.

Meteor (Meteor, est. mag -4, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 10-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Mon Apr 23 00:00:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1644

This evening My friends Steve Borer, Mike Dzubaty and I set up a 10" and 6" dob on the West Haven beach to let people look through our scopes. To our surprise about 150 people showed up to observe. After showing people the moon, we switched the scopes to Venus which is getting ready to wane to a half lit phase. I was amazed to see a long dark stripe on Venus' southern hemisphere. I've never seen that kind of a marking before on Venus. Then what the crowd was waiting for, Saturn, popped into view in the darkening sky. I never heard so many wows since the West Haven fireworks last year. I noticed the dark polar hood on saturn's south pole seems to have vanished. I wonder what's up with that. Next a -3 magnitude Iridium flare appeared right over our heads. For the grand finale, we were watching the ISS pass by when a slow moving earth grazing Lyrid meteor passed overhead. This about -4 magnitude meteor traveled across about 70 degrees of sky before it disintergrated. The sky put on quite a show for the people tonight.

Venus (Planet, est. mag -4.5, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 50-mm binoculars   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Apr 11 00:30:00 2007 UT   Obs. no.: 1638

This evening I observed Venus and the Pleiades with my 10X50 binoculars. Venus and the Pleiades were in the same binocular field and the view was great. Off to the left one binocular field away was Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster. Venus and the Pleiades will be closest together tomorrow night but it will be cloudy were I live here in Connecticut. One final thing, my 10X50 binoculars clearly showed Venus' waning gibbous phase.

Meteor (Meteor, est. mag 1.0, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: naked eye   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Nov 26 04:00:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1585

This evening, while I was glancing up the sky, I observed a bright yellow meteor travel above my head. It may have been a Leonid Meteor since it was traveling roughly east to west. The meteor was rather fast moving and it burned out quickly.

Moon (Moon, est. mag -10, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Oct 10 03:30:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1569

Last night, I observed the moon next to the pleiades. As the time went on, the moon looked like it was getting closer to the Pleiades. I believe some parts of the country may have seen the Pleiades occult the moon.

Other (Other, est. mag 2, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Oct 3 03:40:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1568

This evening, I observed the Hyades open star cluster with my 127mm MAK. This cluster is spread out over about five degrees of sky so that even with low power, I could only study sections of the Hyades. Most of the stars of the Hyades seem to be yellow. I was able to observe several wide doubles including one very bright yellow double star. The Hyades are only 88 light years away from us at their closest point. In fact, our sun is considered to be on the fringe of the Hyades open cluster. Finally, I observed the Hyades bright forground star, Aldebaran. Through my scope it had a rich golden color to it.

Other (Other, est. mag 4.5, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 127-mm other   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Sep 21 03:30:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1564

This evening, I observed the Pleiades open star cluster (M45) with my 127mm MAK. The brighter stars of the Pleiades can be seen with nebulosity around them. The higher the power the more you can see the nebula that the Pleiades is traveling through. I also noticed the stars of M45 don't look as blue as they do in binoculars. This is especially true of the Pleiades brighter stars. When I scan around the Pleiades with low power I seem to get a 3D effect with the dimmer stars of the Pleiades. Finally, the color of the nebula did have a bluish tinge to it.

Moon (Moon, est. mag -6, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 10-mm binoculars   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Apr 2 01:30:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1518

This evening, my friend Steve Borer and I observed the moon occulting the stars of the Pleiades with our binoculars. We had to wait a good hour before the cluds cleared away. Finally, when the skies cleared, the moon was right on the verge of occulting one of the stars. For about 30 seconds, the star seemed to sit on the dark limb of the moon and then it suddenly winked out. It was quite a sight. But, the best was yet to come. A bright fireball shot over our heads from Gemini to Taurus at exactly 8:42 PM EST. Anyone in the northeast looking at the occultation had to of seen it. It was much brighter than Venus and I estimated it was -7th magnitude. It also left a bright smoke trail for about 10 seconds.

Mars (Planet, est. mag 4, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Joe Caggiano (e-mail: jcaggiano@mindspring.com, web: http://home.mindspring.com/~jcaggiano/)
Instrument: 70-mm binoculars   Location: Glenside, Pa, USA
Light pollution: light   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Mon Feb 20 03:00:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1498

Viewed Mars and the Pleadies with the binos. At 15x they appeared in the same FOV. Mars ruddy red color was still very bright and I could just about make out that it was still a disk and not just a pinpoint (like a star). The Pleadies yeilded about 6 dozen stars tonight. Many more could be seen through the scope.

Moon (Moon, est. mag -5, est. to be in Taurus)
Observer: Joe Caggiano (e-mail: jcaggiano@mindspring.com, web: http://home.mindspring.com/~jcaggiano/)
Instrument: 70-mm binoculars   Location: Glenside, Pa, USA
Light pollution: severe   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Jan 9 23:45:00 2006 UT   Obs. no.: 1463

Tried to view the occultation of the Pleadies but missed it by about an hour. I did not realize that it would be going on about the time I got home from work (or even earlier). I know the Pleadies will be occulted at least one more time later on this year. I guess I will have to keep an eye on the occulatation alittle closer.

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