After its solar conjunction in early September, Mars has been crawling into the morning sky. It is a not-so-bright “star” that is low in the eastern sky before sunrise in late October. The moon provides guidance to its location. Take along a binocular and find a clear horizon. Here’s what to look for.
- October 25: One hour before sunrise, the waning crescent moon (26.7 days past its new phase and 10% illuminated), over 20° up in the east-southeast. Mars, only 5° up in the east, is nearly 19° to the lower left of the moon. On closer inspection, the Red Planet is 3.8° to the lower right of Gamma Virginis.
- October 26: The moon is very thin this morning, only 4% illuminated. The thin sliver is striking to see. One hour before sunrise, the moon, about 11° up in the east, is 1.9° to the upper left of Gamma Virginis and nearly 6° to the upper left of Mars. Use a binocular to view this scene.
Let us know what you see in the comments.
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