Yes, you can catch the waning gibbous moon pairing up with the planet Saturn tonight. But you have to be a night owl or an early bird to see them shining on the dome of night. Depending on where you live, the moon and Saturn will rise over your eastern horizon late this evening or possibly even after midnight.
For the specific rising time of the moon and Saturn in your sky, check out the links on our almanac page. Keep in mind that these rising times presume a level horizon. The moon and Saturn will be due south and highest up in the sky around 5:00 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.
Saturn, the 6th planet outward from the sun, is the farthest world that you can easily see with the unaided eye. Even a modest backyard telescope is capable of showing you Saturn’s glorious rings. Last year – on September 4, 2009 – Saturn’s rings were exactly edge-on as seen from Earth. Before that date, we were looking at the south side of Saturn’s rings.
This year, however, we will be viewing the north side of the rings. The north side of Saturn’s rings will be facing our planet Earth until March 23, 2025.
Written by Bruce McClure