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Moon, Saturn, Spica low in west at dusk August 31

31 Aug 2011, 07:01 UTC
Moon, Saturn, Spica low in west at dusk August 31
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The moon and the planet Saturn shine in front of the constellation Virgo, not far from Spica, Virgo’s brightest star. You’ll need an absolutely unobstructed horizon and clear skies to see the threesome some 45 to 60 minutes after sunset. They’ll be low in the west to southwest sky after sunset and will set shortly after dark. Binoculars may be helpful.
Spica: Speed-on
Our chart is designed for mid-northern latitudes in North America. At mid-northern latitudes in the world’s eastern hemisphere – like in Europe and Asia – you probably won’t see the waxing crescent moon at all. In that part of the globe, the moon will be lower in the sky at sunset, and will set before darkness falls. Saturn and Spica, however, will be in nearly the same position as they are in North America.
Setting time for the sun, moon and Saturn in your sky
Now that it’s late summer for the northern hemisphere, the ecliptic – the pathway of the moon and planets – intersects the horizon at a narrow angle at sundown. That’s why the lunar crescent, Saturn and Spica set so soon after sunset in the northern hemisphere.

In the southern hemisphere, where ...

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