Don't miss free celestial show: Watch the moon grow each night

2014-06-05T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T11:06:28Z Don't miss free celestial show: Watch the moon grow each nightBy Tim Hunter Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tonight look at the first-quarter moon in the southwestern sky.

The moon will be sitting about halfway between Leo the Lion, which is above and to its right (northwest), and Corvus the Crow, which is below and to its left (southeast). Find red Mars 21 degrees to the left (east).

Follow the moon every night until it becomes full next Thursday. You will notice the lit portion of the moon growing larger (waxing) and becoming gibbous (more than half lit). Every day the moon moves more to the east and becomes more lit.

Friday, the moon sits 9 degrees to the west of Mars. Saturday night the moon is very close to the red planet, being less than 2 degrees below and to its left (east). The moon’s brightness will somewhat overwhelm Mars, but you should still be able to see it. If you haven’t been able to find Mars up to this point, Saturday night the moon points the way. Look at the moon and the planet in binoculars or a low-power telescope.

Sunday night, the helpful moon sits just a little more than a degree to the east (left) of the star Spica in Virgo the Virgin. Spica is bright, but the gibbous moon will somewhat overpower it. Look at the moon and Spica in binoculars or a low-power telescope. By Tuesday night the moon is a little less than 5 degrees to the left (east) of Saturn. On Wednesday night the moon is in the top part of Scorpius the Scorpion and nearly full.

The constantly moving and changing moon provides a free celestial show every month. Don’t miss it.

Contact Tim Hunter at skyspy@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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