Watching the Skies: Waxing moon points to Mars

Watching The Skies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The moon will act as your guide to find the planet Mars this week. 

The new moon happened Sunday and it will still not be visible Monday. By Tuesday, those with great eyesight may be able to pick out the thin, waxing moon low on the horizon in the west. Binoculars will help you spot it. 

With each day, you’ll notice the moon becoming wider and climbing higher in the sky. By Friday, the moon will be directly below Mars. 

The Pleiades star cluster will be above and to the right of the thin moon Wednesday and below the moon Thursday. This star cluster is part of the constellation Taurus, the bull. Taurus will be disappearing from our view in the evening sky by late April, so this will present a good opportunity to find it. 

NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover landed on the red planet in February and it has been sending back data and photos ever since. Last week, the rover sent back its first weather report. The high temperature on Mars that day was -7.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and the low temperature was -117.4 degrees. Understanding the weather on Mars will help scientists better understand the water balance and radiation budget on the planet. 

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