Stargazing: Eye-catching celestial trio

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After today's new moon, our closest neighbor in space will move east, away from the sun, through the ecliptic and pass between Mars and Saturn by Sunday.

Look for the 3-day-old wafer thin crescent moon 30 minutes after sunset just above the western horizon Thursday evening. The thin crescent will continue to move farther away from the sun and the horizon, climbing just above Spica in the west-southwestern sky by Friday evening. Over the weekend, the waxing crescent will continue to ascend higher in the western sky and sit right between Mars and Saturn on Sunday. Look for the celestial trio's eye-catching display in Libra, 20 degrees above the southwestern horizon at 8:30 p.m.

If the sky is clear during the moon's early crescent phases this week, it may be possible to see the entire dark disc of the moon faintly illuminated as well. This phenomena is possible because of earthshine, the reflection of sunlight off Earth and over to the moon.

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