Rocky Moon Meets The Ringed Planet Tonight

Look to the waxing gibbous moon tonight July 7 and you’ll see the planet Saturn about 1 degree above it. This map shows the sky around 10 o’clock local time. Stellarium

Forgive this ultra-brief appearance, but I’ve been exploring a virtually unknown astronomical paradise the past few days – Las Vegas! Although it seems incongruous, given Vegas’ image, the Las Vegas Astronomical Society has a very active presence here.

A recent photo posted by the Cassini spacecraft photo group shows Saturn’s magnificent rings, polar vortex and the jet stream-created polar hexagon. The hexagon, which is wider than 2 Earths, forms a six-lobed, stationary wave that wraps around the north polar regions at a latitude of roughly 77 degrees North. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The group planned a public outing for the Mars-moon conjunction on July 5 but were clouded out. Maybe tonight their members will get a clear sky for the Saturn-moon conjunction. I’ll be in a plane at 35,000 feet for the event crossing my fingers I get a window seat on the ‘right’ side.

3 Responses

  1. Giorgio Rizzarelli

    Rainy here tonight. Thanx for sharing the Saturn image!

    Speaking of planets, yesterday I watched and shot Mars in scope. Impressive gibbous phase: it’s 87% but very notable even in visual with average seeing. One can even see the smooth terminator (Venus style). This month is the best period to see it: Mars quadrature happens this month, and the planet will not get less phase than 87%.

  2. Edward M. Boll

    About ready for bed, 4:30 comes early enough. I got a nice glimpse of Venus this morning, heading off to work. Comet Jacques and Venus are less than 9 million miles apart on the 13th, but I do not know how close together they will occur. My parents told me that they saw a telescope at Good Will for a cheap price. I guess if it has a working lens it might be worth the money. I plan to check it out tomorrow if it is not gone already.

    1. astrobob

      If anyone would make good use of a telescope it’s you. I’m surprised you don’t own one already.

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