Stargazing: Moon passes Mars, Saturn
Illustration of astronomical highlights for June 25-27 prepared by Amy Jill Lankey, Buhl Planetarium & Observatory.
Share with others:
During the past week, the waxing moon has completed about one-quarter of its journey around Earth. Our closest celestial neighbor is now positioned to pass by Mars and Saturn this week as it travels through Virgo.
The moon will sit about 8 degrees below and to the right of Mars after sunset in the west-southwestern sky tonight. By Tuesday evening, the first quarter moon will have slid about 12 degrees along the ecliptic and sit about 9 degrees below and to the left of the Red Planet.
Mars has moved east, out of Leo and into Virgo, since going into opposition in March. The Red Planet has also dimmed dramatically, now shining at only 0.8 magnitude.
By Wednesday evening, the waxing moon will have moved another 12 degrees east along the ecliptic and sit about 8 degrees below Saturn and 5 degrees below and to the right of Virgo's brightest star, Spica. Saturn has also dimmed to 0.67 magnitude since going into opposition in April.
First Published June 25, 2012 12:00 am