Moon Near Saturn


   Sunday morning, April 16th the 19-day old waning gibbous Moon will rise near the planet Saturn. The two will be within the 7o field of view of 10×50 binoculars and will be easily seen over the eastern to southeastern horizon in the hours before the sun rises.
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Mars and Saturn at Heliocentric Conjunction

   The planets Mars and Saturn are both just recently past the time of their respective opposition to the Earth; Mars on May 22nd, and Saturn June 3rd. When the two dates are close then both planets will at some point be at the same heliocentric longitude or at heliocentric conjunction. That will be on Monday June 13th.

   While they may share nearly identical heliocentric longitude coordinates they do not have the same right ascension with Saturn about 1 hour of R.A. east from Mars. Both Mars and Saturn are very visible over the southern horizon a couple of hours after sunset. The color of Mars contrasts nicely with the reddish star Antares in the Scorpius the Scorpion.

   
   

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

Moon Passes Mars and Saturn

   This weekend the Moon will pass by the planets Mars and Saturn, both of which are located near the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion. The Moon reaches its full phase on Saturday and while it is within a few degrees from Mars the planet Mars will be at opposition. The next evening, Sunday May 22nd the Moon, now at waning gibbous phase, will have moved further east and will be within a few degrees from Saturn.

   
   
   

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

Moon, Saturn, Mars, and the Scorpion.

click on graphic to see it larger

   Tuesday morning March 29th as Scorpius the Scorpion rises it will be accompanied by the 20-day old waning gibbous which Moon will be near the planet Saturn.
   Compare the reddish-orange hue of Mars with that of Antares. Easy to see why Antares means “equal to Mars”.

   
   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Moon, Mars, Saturn, and the Scorpion

   Monday morning March 28th as Scorpius the Scorpion rises it will be accompanied by the 19-day old waning gibbous which Moon will be near the planet Mars.
   Compare the reddish-orange hue of Mars with that of Antares. Easy to see why Antares means “equal to Mars”.

   
   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Mars in Motion

scorpius-mars
   Mars is steadily moving eastward across the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. Mars is currently passing past the 2nd magnitude star Graffias, one of the scorpion’s pincers. In these two pictures you can get a sense of how much of the sky Mars covers each day.

   
   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Mars Meets Its Equal

   This morning Mars was less than 1o from the 2nd magnitude star Graffias, one of the stars marking the pincers of Scorpius the Scorpion. Over the next several days Mars will continue moving along its orbit toward the east coming closer to the planet Saturn, and the ‘rival of Mars’, the heart of the scorpion, the reddish star Antares.
   Antares owes its name to its near matching color of the reddish colored planet Mars. I have often described the name Antares origin as meaning ‘anti mars’, to distinguish the star from the planet. Sort of like saying at times like now when they are close that ‘that reddish object is not Mars’. However the name Antares from the Greek really means ‘equal to Mars’
   This part of the sky, the summer sky for the northern hemisphere, has probably the best view of the Milky Way so it is with a great deal of excitement that as Mars approaches Antares and Saturn Mars is moving closer to the Milky Way. However as this graphic shows the path of Mars takes an expected turn, so to speak, as Mars begins its retrograde motion on April 17th.

Follow the 2016 Retrograde Motion of Mars.

   
   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.