Wednesday and Thursday July 22nd and 23rd, respectively, the waxing crescent Moon will pass within a few degrees from the bluish-white star Spica in the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden. This is a fairly regular occurrence, the Moon passing close to Spica, because Spica is only a few degrees from the ecliptic. The Moon, likewise, is located near the ecliptic. Keep in mind that the Moon’s orbit is inclined about 6o from the ecliptic so that the Moon’s orbital path places the Moon above, on, or below the ecliptic throughout the month. The point along the Moon’s orbital path where it crosses the ecliptic is known as a node. One the descending and the other the ascending node. A significance of the node crossing is that if it occurs at or close to either a new Moon or full Moon there will be an eclipse. (watch for my postings about these node crossing events)
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.