2021, June 19: Evening Sky, Moon, Spica


June 19, 2021: The waxing moon appears with Spica in the southwestern sky during the early evening hours.

Chart Caption – 2021, June 19: An hour after sunset, the waxing gibbous moon is 5.1° above the star Spica, the brightest in the constellation Virgo.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Step outside about an hour after sunset this evening.  The bright moon, over 70% illuminated, is above the star Spica, the brightest in Virgo.  To see the star, it might be necessary to hold up your hand in front of the moon to block our the lunar light, as you would to block out the sun.

Spica’s name means the “ear of corn.” The star is distinctly blue in color.

The lunar orb sets about two hours after midnight.  By this hour, Saturn and Jupiter are easily visible in the southeastern sky.

Tomorrow evening, the moon is farther eastward toward the classic Scorpion and its brightest star Antares – “the rival of Mars.”  In the sky that’s to the left from its position this evening.

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