2019, May 17: Moon in Clasp of the Pincers


On Friday evening (May 17), look toward the southeast for a nearly full moon.  The moon appears between Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali, the northern claw and the southern claw, respectively.  The stars are not overly bright, and the moon’s size is exaggerated in the image above.

Today the stars are the two brightest in Libra, the Scales.  This constellation is the only inanimate object in the zodiac, the constellations that the sun, moon, and planets appear to move through.

The two stars were once part of Scorpius, the Scorpion, that is now rising in the southeast below the moon.  The scorpion was divided into two constellations, but the two stars retained their original names.

So if you imagine that the scorpion is largely below the southeast horizon with its pincers up in the sky holding the moon on this evening.

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