Watching the Skies: Moon spotlights Pleiades, Orion

Watching The Skies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The waxing gibbous moon Wednesday through Friday will guide you to the Pleiades star cluster and the constellation Orion.

The Pleiades star cluster is a collection of stars that are grouped close together. The moon will be nearly directly below the cluster Wednesday and just to the left of it by the next night.

On Friday, the moon will be above the constellation Orion. The three stars in a straight line that create Orion’s belt will help you locate the rest of the constellation. It will be shining in the southeast during the early evening hours, and meander to the south by the late evening.

While you’re out searching for star clusters and constellations, keep your eyes open for a few bright planets. Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn will all be visible in the evening sky.

Mercury is getting fainter by the day, but it’s still visible in the west southwest during the twilight hours. It will be low on the horizon.

Jupiter will be the brightest of the visible planets this week. It will be easy to pick out in the southwest at dusk. Saturn will be below and to the right of Jupiter, and much fainter.

Venus is not visible this week. It will reappear next week, this time as an early morning planet.

Mars will likely be the hardest planet to spot, but you can try your best before sunrise. It will be low in the east before the sun comes up.

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