Moon, Venus and Jupiter

   Yesterday, Friday, was the start of another lunar cycle with the new Moon. This evening, Saturday, the very thin waxing crescent Moon will be just above Venus at sunset – both possibly too low and still close to the Sun to be seen. However, as the 3-part slide show below displays, over the next few days the waxing crescent Moon will not only increase in phase appearance and visibility, but the Moon will be close to the planet Jupiter on Sunday evening.

m-35   On Monday the 13th the Moon will be close enough to the open star cluster, M-35, and an even fainter NGC-2158, to be seen in the field of view of 7×50 binoculars, as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows.

   The open star cluster M-35 (aka NGC 2168) contains around 2500 stars spread across an area about the size of the full Moon, and M-35 is located approximately 2800 light years from the Earth. Less than 1/2 degree from M-35 is the smaller appearing and more compact NGC-2158. This is an older open star cluster containing about the same number of stars as M-35, but NGC-2158 is several times farther – around 12,000 light years distant from the Earth.

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   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Jupiter and Waxing Crescent Moon

9 p.m. CDT

9 p.m. CDT

   This evening the Moon once again begins its phase cycle – well actually it started a couple of days ago, on the 10th with a new Moon. Tonight after sunset the 4-day old waxing crescent Moon is close to the planet Jupiter and the two open star clusters in Taurus, as the banner graphic at the top of this page shows. These open star clusters are the Pleiades, marking the shoulder of the Bull, and the v-shaped Hyades forming the face of Taurus. This graphic shows the Moon and Jupiter as seen with a pair of 7×50 binoculars. The Moon will be about 3 degrees from Jupiter.

      Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Moon/Spica/Mars/Saturn Conjunction

Conjunction Between Moon and Mars

This evening there is an opportunity to view the thin waxing crescent Moon near the star Spica with Mars and Saturn nearby. This is the next to last conjunction with these three with the next one on the evening of September 19th. That one will have the Moon considerably closer to Mars, however the pair will be very low at local sunset time, and Saturn and Spica will not be visible as they set a little earlier then Mars and the Moon.