Moon and Star Clusters

Click on image to see full size.

Click on image to see full size.

   Before sunrise on Friday morning 30 August look toward the east for the group of stars and constellations making up a familiar part of the northern hemisphere winter skies. Part of this group, temporarily, is the waning crescent Moon as it works its way eastward. The Moon will be within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars from two open star clusters. M-35 is an open star cluster that is approximately 2800 light years distant and contains several hundred stars shining with a combined brightness of around 5th-6th magnitude.
   Just one-half degree from M-35 is the much fainter star cluster NGC-2158.
Click on image to see full size

Click on image to see full size.

This is a much smaller and fainter group of stars that are estimated to be around 11,000 light years distant and has an apparent magnitude of between 8 and 9.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Equality at Sunset

9 p.m. CDT

9 p.m. CDT

   An interesting arrangement of the two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, is taking place at sunset local time. Jupiter and the last of the winter constellation are over the western horizon as it is setting. While above the eastern horizon is the planet Saturn as it rises with the stars of spring. For the next few evenings each planet will be approximately the same altitude above their respective horizon at 9 p.m. local time as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows.

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