This weekend it’s the flip of Mars, because the waning Moon passes near the purple planet. Three spacecraft are on their strategy to Mars proper now, and it’s additionally a good time to admire it.
Mars is now creeping in direction of opposition in October, the purpose in its orbit when it’s closest to Earth, in order massive and shiny because it will get. It’s already getting visibly greater and brighter with each passing evening.
Mars is rising earlier every night, and this weekend is now within the sky earlier than midnight, with a 65% illuminated waning gibbous Moon in tow.
Stargazers name this occasion—when two celestial our bodies seem to go shut to one another—a conjunction.
Easy methods to see Mars and the Moon in conjunction on Saturday, August 8, 2020
Look to the east round midnight on Saturday going into Sunday and also you’ll simply discover a waning gibbous Moon.
Solely these in North America will see the closest conjunction, at round 4:00 a.m. EDT on the morning of Sunday, August 9.
You would even attempt to catch the Moon at moonrise—probably the most lovely time to look at our satellite tv for pc—by consulting this Moon calculator to get occasions on your precise location.
In doing so that you’ll additionally witness a “Mars-rise.”
Simply 0.8º north of the Moon will likely be Mars, shining at magnitude -1.3. That’s considerably brighter than any stars, so Mars will likely be apparent.
The conjunction of two of the evening sky’s high sights isn’t that uncommon, however there are few extra pleasing celestial sights to unaided bare eyes than an enormous Moon passing a shiny, purple planet.
Wishing you clear skies and large eyes.