When to see the crescent moon this weekend as a total solar eclipse approaches

Everyone in North America will be looking at the moon — or, at least, its silhouette — on Monday, April 8, when a solar eclipse hits the continent. However, if you'd like to get a head start on everyone else, there are some spectacular sights this weekend as the Moon shrinks to a thin crescent ahead of its tryst with the Sun.

If you're out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and have a great view of the east-southeast horizon, you'll enjoy these spectacular views of the moon, which will be at their best. You may be camping in the path of totality in preparation for a rare total solar eclipse in 13 US states.

Eclipse of Venus

The moon actually „eclipsed” or occulted Venus on Sunday lunchtime, but because it happened during the day, it was impossible for anyone but experienced astronomers with expensive telescopes to see it. in the sky There's information about it—including a helpful map of where to find it.

Here's where and when to see the crescent moon near Mars, Saturn and Venus ahead of Monday's dramatic celestial encounter:

When to see Crescent Moon with Mars and Saturn

Date and Time: Just before sunrise on Friday 5th April and Saturday 6th April

Look in the east-southeast sky just before sunrise on Friday and you'll see a 15% waning crescent moon a few degrees away from Mars and Saturn. Do this before sunrise on Saturday, when a soft crescent Moon will shine 8% below Saturn and Mars.

Both mornings, you'll see bright Venus rising in the east. What you will definitely see is the „earthshine” on the dark side of the crescent moon. It is the sunlight reflected from the Earth's ice caps and clouds on the lunar surface.

'Earthshine' explained

The „da Vinci glow” or „earthshine” is a faint glow visible on the dark side of the crescent moon. It was first observed by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century and reflected sunlight from Earth's clouds and ice onto the Moon. It creates a faint glow that can only be seen when a thin crescent moon is visible, which will be visible every night this week. According to NASA, the strength of the event varies throughout the year due to differences in clouds and ice cover. It is also known as „planetary glow” and „ashen glow”.

Times and dates given apply to mid-northern latitudes. For more accurate location-specific information, consult online planetariums Stellarium And The Sky Live. Cheque Planet-exaltation/planet-conjunct, Sunrise and sunset And New Moon / Sunset Timings for your location.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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