Skywatch: A dark moon will make stargazing easier this week

Young Moon Hunting

The New Moon was last week which means a darker sky as we start the upcoming week due to less light pollution. You’ll also have the chance to go young moon hunting early in the week. Look in the western sky about an hour after sunset for a sliver of moon just over the horizon.

Courtesy: NASA

Mars reaches a milestone at about 7 a.m. on Monday morning. That is when the Red Planet will be in conjunction with the sun. Earth, the Sun and Mars will all line up with Mars on the other side of the sun. This also means that right now, Earth and Mars are on the opposite side of the solar system.

Sadly, you won’t be able to see it as the planet will be lost in the sun’s glare. In a few months, Mars will return to the morning sky.

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Courtesy: NASA

Mercury will reach something known as superior conjunction at about 10 p.m. Tuesday evening. Because Mercury is closer to the sun than the Earth, it can line up on the near side of the sun or on the far side. When it’s on the near side, it’s in inferior conjunction.

When the planet lines up on the far side, it’s in superior conjunction with the sun. Venus also experiences these. Again, Mercury will be lost in the sun’s glare so we won’t be able to see it.

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon will occurs at 11:10 p.m. on Thursday night. The half moon should be easy to spot in the evening sky.

Jupiter, Saturn & the Moon Meet Up

Speaking of the moon, it has a date with Jupiter and Saturn late this week. It’ll be near the two planets on Thursday, Friday & Saturday in the south to southwestern sky in the evenings. Above is how you’ll find the trio on Friday night. Happy hunting!