Stargazing: Crescent moon joins celestial trio


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Our closest neighbor in space has been moving east, away from the sun, since Friday's new moon, and a thin crescent moon can be seen Tuesday evening at dusk at the bottom of an equilateral triangle formed by Mars, Saturn and Spica.

On Tuesday, look for the 4-day-old waxing crescent moon about one-half degree to the left of Virgo's brightest star Spica, 10 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon at 9 p.m. Mars will sit about 5 degrees above and to the left of Spica, and Saturn will lie about 4 degrees to the right of fainter Mars.

By Wednesday evening, the crescent moon will have passed the celestial triangle and sit about 9 degrees to the right of Mars.

Later this week, when the moon has moved away from the triangle and into the southern sky, you may notice in a darker sky the contrasting colors of the trio of celestial objects that form the triangle. Mars is orange, Saturn is golden, and Spica is slightly blue.

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First Published August 20, 2012 4:00 AM


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