Skywatch: The Red Planet meets a famous asterism this week


The moon will brighten this week but will start out as a sliver. That means you can go “Young Moon” hunting. Look for the tiny crescent at the beginning of the week in the western sky after sunset.

While you’re at it, look for the Red Planet and the asterism known as “The Pleiades”. The Pleiades can be seen from nearly everywhere on the planet and as a result, the cluster holds meaning in many cultures. In Japan, the pattern is called Subaru and it adorns the automobile’s logo. The Pleiades have been used as a calendar as well. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, they’re associated with the winter months. In fact, November is known as the “month of the Pleiades” because the asterism is so prominent in the sky. Above is how you’ll find the three on Monday night.

The First Quarter moon will arrive on Friday afternoon at 3:06 p.m. Look for the half-moon that evening if you’re out and about and the skies cooperate.

The moon will meet the Crab on Saturday night. Cancer is also known as the Crab and it’s an early spring constellation. According to legend, when Hercules was fighting the Lernaean Hydra, Hera sent the crab to distract him. The hero kicked it so hard that it landed among the stars. Look for it in the southwestern sky in the evening. Happy hunting!