Moon sweeps near Saturn and Mars September 17 to 19 | 9/17/2018 | Bruce McClure
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On September 17, 18 and 19, 2018, use the waxing gibbous moon to locate the planets Saturn and Mars. These two worlds look like bright stars, and they are easy to see with the eye alone. Mars is the brighter of the two, its ruddy color contrasting beautifully with the golden hue of Saturn.

If you have a telescope, use it to enjoy Saturn’s glorious rings.

Moon - Saturn - Mars - Night - Evening

The moon, Saturn and Mars shine highest up for the night at or around nightfall. They slowly sink westward throughout the evening and wee morning hours. As viewed from northerly latitudes, all three worlds appear rather low in the southern sky at nightfall; from the Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, the moon, Saturn and Mars shine way up high as darkness falls.

On the evening of September 15, 2018, the moon was approaching Saturn. Image via Dennis Chabot of POSNE Night Sky. He wrote: “Saturn and Mars and our moon are shining bright … just beautiful.”

Saturn - Front - Constellation - Sagittarius - Archer

Saturn lodges in front of the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. Mars resides in front of the constellation Capricornus the Seagoat. These are winter constellations for the Northern Hemisphere yet summer constellations for the Southern Hemisphere.

When the sun passes through the far-southern constellations Sagittarius and Capricornus, it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the daytime sun sits low in the Northern Hemisphere sky. As viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, however, it’s summer when the sun is “in” Sagittarius and Capricornus and the daytime sun appears high in the sky. The same applies to the moon and planets when they reside in front of Sagittarius and Capricornus – low in the sky for the Northern Hemisphere and high in...
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