Skywatch: Look for the daytime moon and a famous constellation

Look for the Daytime Moon

One of the first things you can look for in the sky this week is actually during the daytime. Most of us are used to looking for the moon in the night sky but early in the week, if you look in the west after sunrise, you should be able to catch a glimpse of the waning gibbous.

Finding Cassiopeia

When you’re out after sunset, look for a famous constellation. Cassiopeia will be visible in the northeastern sky in the evenings all week. Legend has it that Cassiopeia was very beautiful. In fact, she was so beautiful, she boasted she was prettier than the gods. Her hubris brought upon the punishment of Poseidon, which eventually led to him placing her in the heavens with her head facing the North Star, meaning she spends half of every night upside down, one final humiliation.

Look near the constellation for a famous Double Cluster. Star clusters Chi Persei and H Persei are actually in the constellation of Perseus and if you observe them through binoculars, a small telescope, you’ll be able to resolve some of the stars that make them up.

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Courtesy: NASA

Saturn will take a “pause” in the sky early Wednesday morning. That’s when it’ll become stationary. Planets move against the back drop of the stars. Because of this, there are times when their relative movements are with or against the stars in the sky.

That’s the difference between prograde (moving with the stars) and retrograde (moving against the stars) motion. When a planet is stationary, it’s transitioning from prograde to retrograde motion (or vice versa). Saturn will be in the southern sky near Jupiter Wednesday evening.

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 10:41 p.m. on Saturday evening. That means it’s slowly waning and star-gazing will be easier in the coming days because of less light pollution. Happy hunting!