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Skywatch: Look for our home galaxy this week

A darker sky will make the Milky Way easier to find.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If you’re out on Monday morning use the moon to help you find four of the naked eye planets. Venus, Mars and Saturn will all cluster around our satellite with Venus shining brightest. 

Jupiter won’t be far off below and left of the trio. You’ll need a clear view of the horizon to find Jupiter, though. Look in the east before sunrise and if you miss the show on Monday morning look in the coming morning in the same spot for the planets. 

Just remember the moon won’t be as close.

Speaking of the moon it darkens this week. The new moon arrives on Friday morning at 2:24 a.m. This means we’ll have less light pollution this week so a dark sky will be that much darker.

With a darker sky, you might be able to find our parent galaxy. The Milky Way is a band of stars and interstellar gas that stretches across the sky. 

Right now it can be found in the early morning sky. When you see it know you’re looking into the center of our home galaxy.

On Saturday evening Mercury will reach a milestone. It’ll be in something known as superior conjunction. This is when the Earth, the sun and Mercury all line up with Mercury on the other side of the sun. 

The planet is transitioning from the morning to the evening sky and will be visible just after sunset in a few weeks. 

Happy hunting!

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