Last night late, the Full Moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares aligned in a diamond over my front yard. I’ll bet you saw it, too. The figure measured 12° wide and 9° deep and made walking the dog more illuminating than usual.
The diamond was a one-night-only affair as the moon is never still. Tonight, you’ll find our satellite about 4° to the left or east of Saturn. Still in the neighborhood but always hurrying east as it orbits the Earth.
Remember the giant sunspot from a few days ago? The students in my class and I got a kick out of seeing it with the naked eye through a #14 welder’s glass this week. It’s still out, so I encourage you to use a #14 or similar safe solar filter for a look. Usually a giant sunspot brims with activity from the twisted and criss-crossing magnetic fields that can spawn solar flares. Not this guy. The spot has a simple, stable field that has yet to lead to any significant flares.
Just a quick note. I updated yesterday’s blog about viewing Mars in a telescope with additional labeled photo maps. Happy Mars-ing!