Fri., June 27 5:08 8:20
Sat., June 28 5:09 8:20
Sun., June 29 5:09 8:20
Mon., June 30 5:10 8:19
Tues., July 1 5:10 8:19
Wed., July 2 5:11 8:19
Thurs., July 3 5:11 8:19
Fri., July 4 5:12 8:19
The red planet Mars appears close to the bright star Regulus tonight and the nights ahead. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Leo and in the western sky after sunset. The glow of twilight will still be in the west.
Mars and Regulus are less than a degree apart. For those who enjoy the evening sky, an observer can watch Mars as it comes close and then separates from the distant star.
The ringed-planet Saturn is higher and a short distance away from Mars and Regulus. The distance is about five degrees. But this will change. In the weeks ahead Mars will appear to move closer and closer towards Saturn. The two will be in conjunction on Friday, July 11.
Watching Mars as it moves among the stars is an experience. So often it is easy to generalize and say stars and planets remain static in the sky. The movement of planets is more noticeable when they pass close by a stationary object.
Tides will be more extreme in the week ahead, as two astronomical events coincide. The moon will be in perigee on July 1, closer to the Earth than at any other time in the month. On July 3, the moon will be in the New Moon phase. With the moon and the sun being at the same part of the sky and their gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans greater, tides are greater than normal. Expect extreme high and low tides for the week ahead.