Skywatch: The moon meets the twins this week

Skywatch: The moon meets the twins this week
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If you’re out in the evening at the beginning of the week, look for the moon as it approaches Gemini. The myth behind the constellation is tied to the twins Castor and Pollux (the names of the two brightest stars in the constellation). Don’t ask how, but the twins had two different fathers, one of whom was Zeus. Castor was mortal and eventually died. Pollux was so distraught that he pleaded with Zeus to make Castor immortal … which he did, and placed the pair in the night sky.

Early risers will have the chance to find the planet Venus. It outshines all objects in the sky behind the sun and the moon. Venus is extra bright this week and will reach something known as it’s “greatest illuminated extent” late Saturday or early Sunday. The planet will shine brightly all week long, though.

Courtesy: NASA

Mercury will align with the Sun this week. At 4 a.m. Tuesday morning the innermost planet will reach what’s known as “inferior conjunction." The Sun, Mercury and Earth will all line up at that time. Sadly the planet won’t be visible Tuesday evening as it will set before nightfall.

On Thursday evening, we’ll be treated to a half moon when our satellite reaches Last Quarter. This will happen at 7:19 p.m. Thursday night. Happy hunting!