The moon passes Mars and Saturn during mid-July, 2016. The chart above shows the planets and the star Antares during the four evenings. Mars appears as a bright reddish star low in the south as the sky darkens. It is distinctly, about 3 times, brighter than Saturn, nearly 17 degrees to the left of Mars. The star Antares is 6 degrees to the lower right of Saturn. Mars is nearly 10 times brighter than Antares. The orientation of these three celestial lights remains nearly the same throughout the four nights. There are the events of the evenings displayed in the chart that is displayed for the Chicago area at 9:30 p.m. CDT, 70 minutes after sunset. Check your local sunset times to estimate similar observations for your location.
- July 13: The moon, in the waxing gibbous phase, is nearly 12 degrees to the upper right of Mars.
- July 14: The separation between the moon and Mars is 7 degrees.
- July 15: The nearly 12-day-old moon is 3 degrees to the upper right of Saturn.
- July 16: Just two days before its full phase, the moon is 11 degrees to the left of Saturn.