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Earthsky Tonight—June 18: A half-moon Joins Saturn
Posted By Gary Wamsley On June 17, 2010 @ 9:58 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
 Tonight, you have another planet-packed evening in store, with a couple of brilliant beacons to point the way. Dazzling Venus is visible in the west as evening falls, and the first-quarter  moon shines in the southwest as seen from the northern hemisphere.
The brightest “star” near the half-lit moon is Saturn. Thanks to its majestic system of rings, it has become an icon of “outer space” and staple of science-fiction imagery. However, for a satisfying view of the rings, you do not need to be right next to it, as NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is. You just need the most modest of telescopes. Aim, focus, and behold! Although the rings are still a little thin now – they were perfectly edge-on last year – they will be opening wider over the next few years.
Between Saturn and Venus, about a Big-Dipper-length west of the moon lies ruddy Mars. Night to night, as the moon moves off to the east, waxing toward full phase, Mars and Saturn gradually sink toward the horizon. However, thanks to the perspective afforded by our mutual orbits around the sun, Mars will lag behind the westerly plunge of the constellations, allowing Saturn to catch up. The red planet will rendezvous with the ringed planet at the end of July.
Written by Stuart Goldman
StarDate Online 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
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URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/06/17/earthsky-tonight%e2%80%94june-18-a-half-moon-joins-saturn/
URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/06/17/earthsky-tonight%e2%80%94june-18-a-half-moon-joins-saturn/phasejune-18/
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/06/17/earthsky-tonight%e2%80%94june-18-a-half-moon-joins-saturn/10jun18_430/
 first-quarter: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/moon-phases/first-quarter
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/
 U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center
 StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/
 Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/
 National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
 Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/
 Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/
 The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm
 Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/
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