The moon is always beautiful. On its journey around the sky every month, it often comes close to interesting heavenly bodies.
Brave the cold winter morning Friday and look toward the southeast at 6 a.m. The near last quarter moon will sit halfway between Saturn on its left (east) and Spica in Virgo the Virgin on its right (west). Just above Spica is Mars.
On Saturday morning things get more interesting as the moon will be just below Saturn coming close to actually occulting (covering) Saturn. This is a must-see event. It will be particularly beautiful in binoculars or a low power telescope.
On Sunday morning the restless moon sits just to the left (east) of the head of Scorpius the Scorpion. Six degrees below the moon is Antares at the heart of the scorpion. Antares is a bright red star, one of the largest stars known. Try to look at the moon and Scorpius with binoculars. Even though the moon’s brightness dims the stars of Scorpius, Antares should still show its distinctive color.
If you follow the moon the next few days, you will easily appreciate its movement east through the morning sky and its waning (growing smaller) crescent shape.
By Tuesday morning the moon will have moved farther east enough to get close to ever brilliant Venus, which is starting to become prominent in the predawn sky. Catch them at 6:30 Tuesday morning in the brightening predawn twilight. They will be a little more than 10 degrees above the southeast horizon with the moon to the right (west) of Venus, a heart-warming sight on a cold morning