Sky Spy: Bid farewell to favorite winter stars

2013-04-11T00:00:00Z 2014-07-01T16:48:52Z Sky Spy: Bid farewell to favorite winter starsTim Hunter Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Moon Watch

The moon is a very thin crescent this evening. New moon was Wednesday, and first quarter will be a week from today. Tonight enjoy the thin 1 1/2-day-old moon after sunset at 6:51 p.m. The moon will not stick around long, setting at 8:22 p.m.

Our winter evening favorites are getting low in the western sky after sunset, close to fading from view for several months.

The moon, which every day is higher above the western horizon after sunset with a growing crescent, will help us say farewell to some of these favorites.

On Saturday night the 3 1/2-day-old moon will be just to the right (north) of Taurus the Bull. A good time to view this grouping is from 7:45 to 8:15 p.m.

Be sure to look at the moon and Taurus with low-power binoculars or a small telescope to see the moon's crescent with visible craters along its inner margin as well as the large number of stars in Taurus from the Hyades star cluster.

Taurus is like a "V" with its point directed toward the horizon. Most of the stars in Taurus belong to the Hyades cluster except its brightest star, orange-red Aldebaran, which is between Earth and the background cluster.

Above the moon and Taurus, slightly higher above the horizon, is very bright Jupiter.

But we are not finished with fading winter favorites. To the left (south) of Taurus is Orion the Hunter, and to the right (north) and slightly closer to the horizon is the Pleiades the Seven Sisters.

Farther to the right (north) of the moon is Perseus the Hero, a stickman grouping of relatively bright stars.

On Sunday night the moon sits slightly above and to the left (south) of Jupiter. The four-day-old moon and Jupiter will be a grand pair.

Contact Tim Hunter at

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