Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

The Moon points to two bright planets this week

The Moon’s relentless march across the night sky carries it past Jupiter and Saturn later this week.

SaturnJupitertheMoon
Though the Moon and Jupiter rise together at about 2 a.m. local time the morning of March 27, Saturn doesn't trail far behind.
Stellarium

Since last week’s Full Moon, Earth’s satellite has been rising later every night. You now have to wait until after midnight local daylight time to see Luna cresting above the southeastern horizon. But for those who like to get up early, or stay up really late, the Moon offers a couple of treats these next few mornings.

On March 27, the Moon rises in the vicinity of brilliant Jupiter. The two come up shortly before 2 a.m. and then climb higher as morning progresses. The planet appears about 4° to the waning gibbous Moon’s right, and the two fit nicely in a single field of view through binoculars. You won’t mistake magnitude –2.2 Jupiter for any other celestial object — it’s the brightest point of light in the night sky with the exception of Venus, which won’t rise until morning twilight has started.

The Moon moves eastward relative to the background stars at an average of 13° every day. In just two days, on the morning of March 29, it has crossed the gap from Jupiter to Saturn and joins the ringed planet before dawn. The two objects rise before 3:30 a.m. local daylight time with Saturn 3° to the Moon’s upper right. Although magnitude 0.6 Saturn shines brightly, it appears some 13 times fainter than Jupiter. The Moon’s phase has dwindled noticeably since its encounter with Jupiter, and now appears as a fat crescent.

For more quick and easy observing tips, check out The sky this week for March 22 to 31.

0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
asy_gravitational_eguide

Click here to download a FREE gravitational waves PDF curated by Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook