Thursday evening September 13th the 4.5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be 4-5o from the outer planet Jupiter. Joining the Moon and Jupiter are the planets Venus, Saturn, and Mars.
Jupiter, the Moon, and Zubenelgenubi, a star in Libra the Scales, will all easily fit within the field of view of binoculars.
Tuesday evening September 11th the 2.5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be 7-8o from the blue-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden, and about 8-9o from the inner planet Venus. Joining Venus and the Moon are several planets arranged from west to east – Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. Northwest from Venus is the dwarf planet Ceres, but at 8th apparent magnitude Ceres requires an optical aid like powerful binoculars or a telescope.to be seen.
The pair should prove to be an interesting sight with binoculars or a wide-field telescope eyepiece. Venus shines with an apparent magnitude of -4.4, while Spica has an apparent magnitude of about 1.0.
Friday August 24th the waxing gibbous Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.
On the day of the node crossing the 13-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be over the southeastern horizon about an hour after the Sun sets. The planet Mars is about 15o to the west (right) from the Moon, and further west are the planets Saturn and Jupiter. Neptune is shown to the east from the Moon but with an apparent magnitude of almost 8 Neptune would only be visible with an optical aid.
Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Thursday August 23rd. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.81 Earth diameters (405,700 km or 252,090 miles) from the Earth.
Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as this graphic shows? From our perspective on the Earth the Moon appears to circle around the Earth. However, in reality, the Moon orbits the Sun together with the Earth*
Read this very informative article about the Earth-Moon system and their orbital motions, written by Joe Hanson. “Do We Orbit the Moon?”
Over the next two evenings, Monday August 20th, and Tuesday the 21st, the waning gibbous Moon will pass within about 8-10o from the planet Saturn.
Joining the Moon and Saturn are the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Dwarf Planet Ceres.
Over the next two evenings, Saturday August 18th, and Sunday the 19th, the waning gibbous Moon will pass within about 8-10o from the reddish star Antares, the ‘heart’ of Scorpius the Scorpion.
Joining the Moon and Jupiter are the planets Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Dwarf Planet Ceres.