Moon
In the week ahead the late night moon moves through the summer constellations. Tonight, the moon is in the zodiacal constellation Libra and rises late in the evening.
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Full Moon and Saturn
The full moon, the Mud Moon, appears next to the bright planet Saturn on Monday night. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Virgo, and there could not be a better pair to open a new month and herald the approach of spring.
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Mars by Moonlight
On Sunday night the first quarter moon appears high in the eastern sky after sunset. The moon is in the zodiacal constellation Taurus and near the star cluster Pleiades. Also called Seven Sisters, the Pleiades is a small star cluster that is easy to spot; it looks like a tiny dipper and is not much bigger than the moon.
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Jupiter, Venus and the Moon
It will be tough, but for anyone with an unobstructed view of the southwestern sky tonight, there is a show to be seen shortly after sunset. The planets Jupiter and Venus appear close together with a thin crescent moon. The three, forming a triangle, will appear amid the glow of twilight.
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Venus and Jupiter
Our twilight skies are in for a big change in the weeks ahead. The brilliant planet Venus makes her debut appearance low in the southwestern sky, right next to Jupiter. Venus is a good deal brighter than Jupiter, and the two will appear side by side for more than a week.
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Moon and Mars
Tonight the gibbous moon appears next to the red planet Mars. The two rise together in the east, as the sun sets in the west. Mars is brilliant, brighter than at any time in the past two years. The moon and Mars are in the zodiacal constellation Cancer, a sign we associate with spring.
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Mars by Moonlight
The planet Mars is close on Tuesday, the closest it has been in two years. You’ll have no trouble finding it when it rises in the east shortly after sunset, for it is the brightest of “stars” in the eastern sky. Mars appears high in the east at 10 p.m. and almost overhead at midnight. Mars is in the zodiacal constellation Cancer.
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Moon and Jupiter
If skies are clear, stargazing will be great into next week. Tonight will be moonless; the moon is in the New Moon phase and too close to the sun to be seen. The moon won’t interfere until late in the week.
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Mars
This is the month to look for Mars. The bright red planet rises in the east sky about two hours after sunset. Mars is best viewed when it is higher in the east, after 9 p.m. and it is the brightest celestial object in the east. Its reddish color gives it away.
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Moon and Planets
If you haven’t found Mars yet, tomorrow night, Jan. 2, offers a great opportunity. The moon and Mars appear side by side. The moon is one day past full moon, and the two rise together about an hour after sunset. They are in the zodiacal constellation Cancer, near the Sickle in the constellation Leo, the lion.
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