Skywatch: Look for the dragon this week!

Skywatch: Look for the dragon this week!
Courtesy: NASA

Something we can’t even see will take place in the sky early this week but we’ll see its effects by the end of the month. Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, is in superior conjunction at 10 p.m. Tuesday. That means it’s on the opposite side of the sun when viewed from Earth. The planet also will transition to the evening sky by the end of the month. In May it could be found in the morning but after this conjunction, Mercury will be visible in the northwest in the evening later in the month.

The Last Quarter Moon arrives at 2:32 p.m. Wednesday, so you can enjoy the half-moon when stargazing later on that evening.

One constellation that will be easier to spot as the moon darkens into the weekend is the dragon! Draco is a constellation that revolves around the North Pole making it a “circumpolar constellation” meaning it’s visible throughout the year. It sits high in the northern and northeast sky in the evenings. One of the stars in the dragon’s tail, Thuban, was the North Star 5,000 years ago when the pyramids of Egypt were being built. It has since ceded that title to Polaris. Happy hunting!