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.