(IAAC) Obj: Mel 25 (Hyades) - Inst: 7x50 handheld binoculars


Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 1998-02-19/20 03:00 UT
Location of site: Medford, MA, USA (Lat 42oN, Elev 5m)
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 5.6 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 7x50 handheld binoculars
Magnification: 7x
Filter(s): None
Object(s): Mel 25 (Hyades)
Category: Open cluster
Class: II 3 m
Constellation: Tau
Data: mag 0.5  size 330'
Position: RA 04:27  DEC +15:52
What a magnificent sight in binoculars this object is! Using one of
those infuriating "unexpected clearings" we have in New England, I
rushed out to the backyard with just the binoculars, to begin work
on my AL "Binocular Deep Sky" observing list. First up tonight, and
at the top of any binocular list, the bovine Hyades! The first thing
to note was a pretty trio of mag. 7-8 stars lying S of baleful alpha
Tau (Aldebaran), which I'd never noticed before. This seemed a good
S border for my view tonight, while to the NW, faint streamers of
stars mags. 8-9 stretched for a good 4o, forming another border. In
between, I could count some 65 stars with averted vision and steady
hands! Seven or eight pretty binocular pairs were scattered fairly
evenly around this area. But the cluster as a whole presented very
much the same lopsided impression - clustering heavily to the S and
SW - which unaided eyes will give from a fairly dark site. WOW!
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