Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tonight's Sky for August 2: Moon Splits Mars and Spica

Tonight (and tomorrow) will bring easy to spot pairings of prominent astronomical objects. Tonight's feature: the waxing crescent Moon will split the planet Mars and star Spica. To see the sight, simply go out after the sky starts to darken and look for the Moon. The blue star to the right is Spica, alpha Virgo, and the red 'star' is actually the planet Mars, fourth from the Sun. As an interesting additional activity, look at and contrast the colors of Mars and Spica. Yes, while not like Christmas lights, the color difference is clear when two astronomical bodies of contrasting colors are close to each other.

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