While I should be continuing to catch you up on our excellent astronomy adventure from last week, current events are stepping in to interrupt! Currently in the western sky, the planet Mercury is in conjunction with the Pleiades Star Cluster! I've alerted local observers to it, so hope you have been watching - it is really pretty in binoculars.
Tonight is the closest approach of the pair, so went out again to capture them. There were some thin clouds, and one shot had an airliner go thru (not used for the stack). But they were significantly closer, easily fitting in a binocular field. This set of 12 exposures totaled 110 seconds of exposure.
Interestingly, today Mercury was in the news because the Messenger space probe, which has been orbiting Mercury the last 4 years, was purposely crashed onto the surface after running out of maneuvering fuel.
The planet continues to draw away from the Sun, getting higher in our sky, but will also be moving further from the Pleiades. Greatest elongation from the Sun will be on 6 May, after which it will slowly move back closer to our star, passing inferior conjunction (between us and the Sun) in a month on 30 May. Get out and observe the rarest of the naked-eye planets, and do search for the Pleiades to the lower right of it if you check the next day or two!