The Moon, Venus, and Mars Meet in The Sky Tonight
Want to witness the Moon-Venus Conjunction? Or see the Moon and Mars together? Keep reading to learn how to observe these spectacular objects!
On June 10, the Moon reached its new phase, delivering the spectacular annular solar eclipse. The next day, on June 11, the slender young Moon will grace the sky after sunset. During the next several evenings, enjoy the dance of our natural satellite and two bright planets, Venus and Mars. Keep reading for more!
The Moon and Venus conjunction
For those of you who wonder “what is a conjunction in astronomy?”, we’ve already given a detailed explanation of this phenomenon in our recent article. In a nutshell, a conjunction occurs when two or more celestial objects come close together in our sky.
On June 12, at 02:42 a.m. EDT (06:42 GMT), the Moon will pair up with the brightest planet in the sky (and the hottest planet in the Solar System), dazzling Venus. The Moon and Venus will shine at magnitudes of -8.8 and -3.9, respectively. You can start observations on June 11, even though the thin waxing crescent Moon might be challenging to see on this day, as it will set soon after sunset. Regardless of your location in the world, try to find an unobstructed horizon and look in the direction of sunset to spot the young Moon. Binoculars will also come in handy.
The Moon and Mars conjunction
The Moon and Mars conjunction will occur on June 13, at 3:52 p.m. EDT (19:52 GMT). Note that even though we mention the exact time and date of the conjunctions, it’s not the only moment to observe the celestial objects shining relatively close together.
At a magnitude of 1.8, the Red Planet is relatively dim and inconspicuous. Wait until nightfall to see Mars; probably, you’ll spot the planet after Venus sets. In the vicinity of the Moon and Mars, you’ll see two prominent Gemini’s stars — Castor and Pollux. The latter is the brightest star of this constellation, shining about 1.8 times brighter than Mars these days.
If you wonder, “Is Mars visible tonight from my location?” or “When should I start looking for Venus?”, Star Walk 2 is exactly what you need. The stargazing guide will help you easily find and identify the Moon, Venus, Mars, and many other celestial objects in the sky above you, check their exact rise and set times, and never miss noteworthy astronomical events.
Catch the subtle glow of earthshine
On the days surrounding the New Moon, you can enjoy a pale glow lighting up the dark part of the lunar disk — the earthshine, also known as “the ashen glow”. The soft glow of earthshine occurs as sunlight reflects off the Earth’s surface and illuminates the Moon’s unlit part. This phenomenon is best seen right after sunset or before sunrise. You can check the exact rise and set time of the Sun and the Moon and get information on the lunar phases in the “Sky Live” section of the astronomical app.
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