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Science PopWrapped | Science

Mars, Saturn And Red Giant Star Visible In The Night Sky

Kristina Atienza | PopWrapped Author

Kristina Atienza

05/03/2016 12:30 pm
PopWrapped | Science
Mars, Saturn And Red Giant Star Visible In The Night Sky | Red Giant Star
Media Courtesy of Space.com

If you live away from the bright city lights, you probably get to enjoy the hundreds of stars covering the night sky above you.

If you were up a little bit after midnight at the beginning of this week, you might have gotten a look at the night sky and noticed three more notable lights in the night sky.

This grouping wasn't comprised of just any average stars, if the weather was cooperative, you got the chance to see the Red Giant star Antares, Mars and Saturn shining bright into the Sunday night/Monday morning alongside a waning gibbous moon (meaning the moon was at least half illuminated and had just begun to decrease in its illumination).

Although use of any telescopes wasn't entirely necessary to see the celestial grouping, small telescopes allowed viewers an interesting arrays of sights to see.

If one took a look at the moon, one could see Theophilus, Cyrillis and Catharina, which are three of the prominent craters on the western edge of the moon, and Altai Scarp to the south.

The Red planet is on one of its closest approaches to Earth in recent history. Since Mars is almost at its equinox, chances for seeing the polar ice caps of the planet were unlikely.

Saturn's rings would be highly noticeable for viewers, even challenging people to see how many of the second largest planets' moons could be spotted.

Antares and Mars have things other than their names in common. The Giant Red star can seem orange or red to the unaided eye, but upon a closer look, one can discover the smaller blue-white companion that exists alongside Antares, since the star is technically a double star.

If you missed out on this celestial sighting, don't worry, you've got time to grab a telescope to catch another upcoming  planetary sighting. Mercury's path should be viewable on Monday May 9 for the first time since 2006 and won't be back until 2019.


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