Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
Our chart shows the eastern sky for around 8 to 9 o’clock tonight. The planet Mars shines brightly above the full-looking waning gibbous moon. Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, lurks to the lower left of the moon. Although Regulus rates as a first-magnitude star, it may be hard to spot in the lunar glare tonight. Try binoculars, if you can’t see Regulus with the eye alone.
The moon and Mars shine in front of two different constellations of the Zodiac. Mars lights up Cancer the Crab, while the moon resides in Leo the Lion. By the way, zodiacal constellations make up that rather narrow band of stars through which the sun, moon and planets forever travel.
Cancer is the dimmest zodiacal constellation. However, this constellation is fairly easy to locate because it sits between Regulus and the two bright Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux lie outside tonight’s chart, to the upper right of Mars. See the January 28 chart showing Mars and the Gemini stars.
In the meantime, you can use the planet Mars to locate Cancer the Crab. Mars will be in front of the Crab from now until May 12, 2010.
Written by Bruce McClurePrint This Post