Moon Grabbed by Virgo

   The weather here in Tucson this past week has ranged from cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. In other words since it is monsoon season I should not have been surprised by the cloudiness. Sometimes it rains as the banner graphic shows, but only where the cloud dumps its moisture.

Virgo Grabs the Moon.

Virgo Grabs the Moon.

   The waxing crescent Moon is day by day moving closer to passing by the star Spica, then the planets Mars and Saturn. The slideshow below shows a desert view looking toward the west about an hour after sunset starting with the 30th and ending on the 3rd with the Moon near Saturn. I’m showing the Moon/planet or star pairings based on my time zone however for some observers at different latitudes, longitudes and time zones the Moon may be closer then my depictions.
saturn-moon-ani   This evening, like last evening, the thin crescent Moon shines more or less by itself, but by Friday the 1st the Moon will be within a few degrees from Spica looking as if Virgo has grabbed the Moon in her left hand. Then on Saturday the 2nd the crescent Moon will be within a few degrees from Mars (closest at 10 UT). Sunday evening the 3rd will have the Moon within a few degrees from Saturn and from parts of the world this will be an occultation of Saturn by the Moon. That occultation, at 11 UT on the 4th, will be visible from parts of southern India to Australia and some of the South Pacific islands.

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Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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