Venus, Moon, Saturn, Mercury; Pegasus

2013-10-03T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T11:58:29Z Venus, Moon, Saturn, Mercury; PegasusBy Tim Hunter Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Venus continues its dazzling show in the west after sunset.

On Sunday, look toward the southwest between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. Have your binoculars handy.

First, find brilliant Venus directly southwest 15 degrees above the horizon. Then look to the right (north) of Venus and close to the horizon to see Saturn, the two-day-old crescent moon, and Mercury in that order from top to bottom. They will be less than 10 degrees above the horizon.

If the sky is clear and you have an unobstructed horizon, this will be a gorgeous grouping of heavenly bodies. It will be especially beautiful in low-power binoculars. On Monday the moon will be a larger crescent and halfway between Venus and Saturn.

Astronomical twilight ends a little before 7:30 p.m., a good time to look east to see one of the premier constellations in the autumn evening sky — Pegasus the Winged Horse.

Pegasus is one of many constellations that have no resemblance to what they are supposed to represent. Pegasus is a large square of four relatively bright stars. Inside the square are dimmer stars, the number of which you can see on a given night indicates how dark the sky is. The square of Pegasus will be tilted so that it looks like a four-pointed diamond balancing on its end somewhat above the eastern horizon.

Pegasus also consists of two extensions of dimmer stars to the west from the two stars in its western end. Extending from its northeastern end of Pegasus is a string of three stars that make up Andromeda the Maiden. Pegasus and Andromeda together are one large grouping of stars that soon become a familiar friend to the sky observer.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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