Starting with earlier this morning (sorry, I forgot to post this yesterday) and continuing for the next several days the waning crescent Moon will be following an orbital path that more or less parallels the ecliptic. Since the 8 planets also orbit the Sun relatively close to the ecliptic there is always a chance for the Moon to pass closely by a planet or even occult, pass in front of, a planet.
This is the situation as the Moon moves eastward this week as the graphics in the sequence below shows. Each of the conjunctions has the Moon passing very close to each of the planets with separations as close as the occultation of Mars on the 18th: Jupiter 1-2o on the 19th; Saturn about 1o on the 20th.
However the highlight has to be the occultation of Mars. This will be visible as the two rise and will continue to be visible albeit for my time zone, CST, Mars will reappear on the west, right, side of the Moon shortly after sunrise making that part of the occultation more difficult to see. This animated graphic runs at 1-minute intervals from 5:22 am CST to 7:22 am CST.
Follow the Moon along the ecliptic for the next 5 days. Think of the first graphic as a reminder of what it looked like earlier today! 😉
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