Over the next 10 days, from August 13th to the 23rd, the Moon will move eastward, as it always does, following the ecliptic and interacting with planets and stars near the ecliptic.
click on any graphic below to view each of the graphics full sized.
Tuesday evening July 24th the 12-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be within about 2o from the planet Saturn. To west from Saturn is the planet Jupiter and further west over the southwestern horizon is the inner planet Venus. To the east from Saturn is Dwarf Planet Pluto and just rising in the east is the planet Mars.
The two, Moon and Saturn, should make a fine sight through binoculars or a low power wide-field telescope eyepiece. They are located in an area of the Milky Way rich with deep-sky objects like M-8, the Lagoon Nebula. Unfortunately the reflected light from the Moon drowns out the dimmer deep-sky objects. However a few days from now the Moon will be rising later and will not interfere with seeing some of these objects.
Friday evening July 20th the 8-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be 3-4o from the ringed planet Jupiter. Joining Jupiter to the west is Venus, and east from Jupiter are the planets Saturn and Mars.
Close to Jupiter is 3rd magnitude star Zubenelgenubi in Libra the Scales.
This is one of those ‘best of times’ with regard to planet viewing. All of the visible planets are above the horizon although Mercury sets just before Mars rises. Times like this make it easy to visualize the ecliptic and its relationship with the planets. And our Moon, as it waxes toward full phase over the next several days, will pass by several planets and dwarf planets.
Click on a graphic to start a slide show.
Monday evening June 25th the planet Mercury will be about 5o from Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins stars. They will be low over the western horizon following sunset but with a clear horizon should be visible.
Also, after a couple of hours later turn toward the southeast to see the 12-day old waxing gibbous Moon rising within about 8-9o from the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion. Further east is one of the ringed planets, Saturn, and the ‘Red Planet’ Mars.
On the evening of June 21st the the 8-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be within about 8o from the blue-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden. In two days the Moon will have moved further east and be close to the planet Jupiter.
This evening, May 25th the 10.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be about 6-7o from the blue-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Then, over the next 2 nights the Moon will continue moving eastward and will pass by the planet Jupiter. The Moon will be about 8-9o to the
east west from Jupiter on the 26th, and less then 5o east from Jupiter on the 27th.