Stargazing: Jupiter and the crescent moon

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The moon has now started a new cycle of phases and will pass Jupiter this weekend in the western sky after sunset.

On Saturday evening, look for the 4-day-old waxing crescent moon about 10 degrees below Jupiter in the western sky one hour after sunset. By Sunday evening the crescent moon will have climbed higher in the sky and sit about 7 degrees to the left of the Jovian giant.

When you look for this eye-catching pairing this weekend, notice that Jupiter is closer to the horizon after sunset than it was one month ago when it was about 65 degrees above the horizon. The Jovian giant has now sunk to within 40 degrees of the horizon. One month from now, stargazers will find Jupiter sitting only 20 degrees above the western horizon when it is passed by a young crescent moon again.

Jupiter will continue to sink lower and set earlier each evening until the beginning of July when it is lost in the glare of the sun.


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