Mark Alan Lovewell

Moon and Five Planets

Tomorrow morning offers a big event, a thin crescent moon near the planet Mercury and Venus. Add to that, a line up of the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

If weather doesn’t cooperate try again on Sunday morning, when the show continues. The crescent moon will be closest to Venus, the brightest planet of them all.

The hardest part of the show is the hour. You need to get up early in the morning, 4 a.m. to see it.

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First Morning of Summer

Our astronomical summer arrives at 5:14 a.m. on Tuesday morning, about seven minutes after sunrise. There has been plenty of evidence already that summer is here. But that precise moment makes the rest easy.

If you were up earlier in the morning and looked to the east you’d see the bright last quarter moon shining right next to the bright planet Jupiter. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Pisces. Look slightly to the east of the two for the red planet Mars. A good deal farther to the east you’ll see the brightest of planets, Venus.

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Constellation Scorpius

Scorpius, one of the southern-most constellations in the zodiac, is a symbol to us of summer. In mythology the stars depict a life-threatening scorpion. It was put in the heavens by Zeus after it had killed Orion, the Hunter.

Orion and Scorpius are opposite each other in our sky. The constellations will never appear in our night sky at the same time. Orion stands erect in Winter. Scorpius poses threatening in summer.

Use the gibbous moon on Monday night to find Scorpius. The moon will be full on Tuesday night.

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All the Visible Planets Together

Tomorrow morning all the visible planets will line up for viewing in the predawn sky. As dawn arrives it will be harder to see the fainter of them.

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Jupiter and Mars

The two distant planets Jupiter and Mars will be less than a degree apart on Sunday morning.

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Moon and Planets

In the wee hours of Sunday morning the last quarter moon appears only a few degrees from the ringed-planet Saturn. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Capricornus.

The two rise together around midnight and take charge of the predawn morning sky.

The moon advances two mornings later into the zodiacal constellation Pisces and appears near both Mars and Jupiter. If you miss it, you’ll get another chance early on Wednesday morning. Jupiter is the brighter of the two planets. Mars appears as a dull red.

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Total Lunar Eclipse

The full moon will slip into the Earth’s shadow late Sunday night.

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Crescent Moon and Gemini

Tonight a thin crescent moon appears fairly high in the southwestern sky after sunset.

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Jupiter and Venus

The two brightest planets in our sky are visible in the morning. Venus and Jupiter are so close they can talk to each other. This weekend they are less than a degree apart.

You’ll discover this beautiful sight if you can get up early enough in the morning, at least an hour before sunrise. The two are in the east. Venus is the brighter of the two.

Moon, Mercury and Pleiades

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Lyrid Meteor Shower

Tonight (April 22) is the peak night for the Lyrid meteor shower. The best viewing will be outdoors gazing northeast, the darker the sky the better.

The numbers of meteors can range to a few an hour to a large number. There have been estimates of less than 20 meteors in an hour, but don’t count on it. Most of the meteors will appear to come from the northeast, in the vicinity of the constellation Lyra.

A gibbous moon, almost in the last quarter, will interfere when it rises after midnight.

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