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Skywatch: Find a neat feature in the evening sky

The Orion Nebula is visible to the naked eye.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The moon will wane to last quarter on Sunday night. It’ll officially reach that phase at 9:24 a.m. in the evening but moon rise isn’t until after midnight so you’ll have to be out late if you want to see it.

If you have a telescope point it towards a popular winter constellation and you’re in for a treat. The Orion Nebula is also known as Messier 42 or M42 and it can be found in the group of stars. 

It’s one of the brightest nebulae in the sky and can even be seen with the naked eye. Look for it below Orion’s famous belt in the “sword” portion of the constellation.

The waning crescent moon and the Red Planet have a date on Friday morning. The pair will be in the southeastern sky about an hour before sunrise. 

Near them you’ll find Antares, the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius, the famous beast that killed Orion. 

Happy hunting!