Stargazing: Gibbous moon passes Jupiter and Aldebaran
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Our closest celestial neighbor is now positioned to pass very close to Jupiter and Aldebaran tonight and Tuesday evening as it travels through Taurus, Gemini and Cancer this week. The waxing moon will then complete half of its journey around Earth Saturday when it becomes the full "wolf moon."
Tonight, stargazers can find the waxing gibbous moon within 1.3 degrees of brilliant Jupiter and about 5 degrees above Taurus' brightest star Aldebaran. The diameter of your little finger held out at arm's length toward the horizon equals about 1 degree. By Tuesday evening, the gibbous moon will slide about 12 degrees along the ecliptic to the east or left of Jupiter and about 8 degrees to the left of Aldebaran. The diameter of your clenched fist held out to the sky equals about 10 degrees.
The gibbous moon will move east along the ecliptic into Gemini by Thursday evening, then slide into Cancer before becoming the first full moon of the new year on Saturday evening.
First Published January 21, 2013 12:00 am