The waxing moon has completed one-quarter of its journey around Earth since the new lunar cycle began last Monday. Our closest celestial neighbor is now positioned to pass Spica and Saturn before waxing to a full moon next Monday.
Look for the first quarter moon to sit just to the right of Virgo's bright blue star Spica tonight, 25 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon at 10 p.m. The moon will then travel east through the ecliptic and sit about 3 degrees below yellow-white Saturn Tuesday evening. The waxing moon's eastern motion will continue through Libra and the Scorpion before becoming the full "thunder" moon next Monday.
While the moon is waxing through the ecliptic this week, our dazzling bright evening star Venus is moving in for a close conjunction with Leo's brightest star, Regulus, over the weekend. Start looking for the duo at 9:30 p.m. this week, 10 degrees above the western horizon. Venus will pass one degree north of Regulus by Sunday evening.
-- By Dan Malerbo, Buhl Planetarium and Observatory