Stargazing: Celestial triangle shines overhead
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Tonight, as the moon repeats its cycle of phases through the ecliptic and zodiac, stargazers can find our closest celestial neighbor form an attractive triangle with Jupiter and Taurus' brightest star Aldebaran.
Look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight, 5 degrees to the left of brilliant Jupiter and about 3 degrees to the upper left of Aldebaran. The diameter of your little finger held out at arm's length toward the horizon equals about 1 degree. The 8-day old gibbous moon will then move east along the ecliptic into Gemini on Wednesday evening and Cancer on Saturday. The waxing moon will continue its trek into Leo when it completes half of its journey around Earth and becomes the second full moon of the year.
Stargazers may have noticed the Jupiter has begun to fade as it moves farther from Earth. However, it's still shining at a dazzling bright --2.3 magnitude and will only fade to --1.9 magnitude when it ends its current evening appearance in late May.
First Published February 18, 2013 12:00 am