September 10-13, 2021: The waxing moon passes the classic Scorpion in the evening sky. Look for them in the south-southwest during the early evening hours.
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by Jeffrey L. Hunt
After its spectacular grouping with brilliant Venus and Spica last evening, the waxing moon continues its eastward trek.
During the next few evenings, it appears in front of the stars of the Classic Scorpion, today represented by Scorpius and Libra. The stars Zubenelgenubi – “the southern claw” – and Zubeneschamali – “the northern claw” – are in Libra today. They represent the very old association of these stars with Scorpius.
Here’s what to look for on these evenings:
September 10: One hour after sunset, in the west-southwest, the lunar crescent, 20% illuminated, is 10.8° to the upper left of brilliant Venus and 4.5° to the lower right of Zubenelgenubi.
September 11: The lunar crescent, 29% illuminated, is clearly in the grasp of the Scorpion’s classic pincers – Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali. Notice that the lunar orb is nearly midway from Zubenelgenubi and Graffias – “the crab.” (Apparently, early biologists thought that crabs and scorpions had the same origin or changed from one form to another.)
September 12: The moon, 40% illuminated, is in the south-southwestern sky, 3.3° to the upper right of Antares – “the Rival of Mars.” On some drawings of celestial characters, Antares marks the heart of the Scorpion.
September 13: The First Quarter moon is only about 20° up in the south-southwest, above the Scorpion’s tail. The lunar orb is formally in the constellation Ophiuchus – the Snake Handler – between Scorpius and Sagittarius.
Articles and Summaries
October 7, 2021: The lunar crescent returns to the evening sky for a short visit in the western sky after sunset. The bright planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – are visible during the early evening.
Mars is at its solar conjunction on October 7, 2021. It begins a slow return into the morning sky. By year’s end it appears low in the southeastern sky with the moon.
October 6, 2021: The moon is at its New moon phase today. This evening look for the three bright planets after sunset.
October 5, 2021: Before sunrise, a very thin moon is visible in the eastern sky. The evening planet pack – Evening Star Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – are visible at the same time after sundown.
October 29, 2021: Today is the date for equal daylight and equal darkness for about 42° north latitude. This is not to be confused with the autumnal equinox.