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Astro Bob

Moon Visits Mars Tonight / Curiosity Rover 360°

11 Mar 2019, 16:19 UTC
Moon Visits Mars Tonight / Curiosity Rover 360°
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A slivery day-old moon makes a brief appearance last week in the west at dusk. Bob King
The crescent moon made a beautiful return appearance to the evening sky late last week. Did you see that wispy thing? Tonight it’s filled out and high in the southwest at dusk. You’ll also notice how earthshine — sunlight reflected from Earth to the moon and back — faintly illuminates the remainder of the moon. With binoculars you can often see details in the earthlit portion including several lunar seas and possibly even the rayed crater Tycho. Give it a try then look a short distance to the left of the moon to find the planet Mars.
Look high up in late twilight tonight to catch the moon and Mars. They’ll be about 7° apart. Stellarium
Few amateur astronomers now observe Mars in a telescope because it’s so far away (the reason it’s not particularly bright) and tiny — there’s almost nothing to see except its shape. Good thing we can still get closeup views via the Curiosity rover’s eyes. After exploring Vera Rubin Ridge in Gale Crater for more than a year, the rover is now rolling toward the “Glen Torridon” region, ...

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