This week will be great for stargazers as they will be able to enjoy three extraordinary views: the moon, Saturn and Mars.
Back in the summer, four planets were visible across the nighttime sky, as Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter were spectacular. Jupiter is too close to the sun in order to be visible right now and Venus has returned to the morning sky.
Saturn and Mars have remained visible after it gets dark. In less than a month Saturn will also leave but not before something special happens. Our moon will visit the giant planet during the weekend and a meeting with Mars is also planned for Thursday.
While Saturn will soon leave there is still plenty of time left to enjoy its presence. Sunday is one of the best day in order to search for it as the moon is becoming visible again. If you plan to look for it is advised to wait for at least one hour after the sun went down and focus on the southwest horizon. Clench your hand into a fist and look for the moon. After you see it, look for a shiny, yellow star in the upper right corner.
A telescope is needed in order to observe Saturn’s rings but high-power binoculars or smaller spotting scopes can be used if they are positioned correctly.
The moon will leave Saturn as it travels towards East. It can be easily observed without the use of an advanced telescope. There are many interesting details that can be seen even with a pair of average binoculars, including large craters. During the first three days of thee week the celestial body will become brighter each day.
Visiting the Red Planet
On Thursday stargazers will be able to see Mars if the once again look towards the upper left of the moon. The Red Planet will remain visible until early 2019.
Should the weather be clear go out and enjoy the show!
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.