Friday, when we mark our nation’s 238th year of independence, many communities will celebrate with parades marching down the main street of town. This week, the evening skies will have their own celestial parade to celebrate Independence Day. The moon will march across the southwestern sky through the zodiac, the main street of the night sky.
The parade starts this evening when the 3-day-old wafer-thin crescent moon sits just above the western horizon after sunset. By Tuesday evening, the thin crescent moon will have climbed higher and sit 4 degrees to the lower left of Regulus, Leo’s brightest star. The moon will continue its eastward march through Leo and Virgo this week, waxing to first-quarter phase by Friday evening. On Saturday, stargazers can find the moon sitting very close to Mars and 3 degrees to the right of Virgo’s brightest star Spica. By next Monday evening, the waxing gibbous moon will have marched into Libra and sit just below the ring world, Saturn.