It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane! No, It’s The Moon Passing Mars
If you are a sky watcher, Tuesday through Thursday you can get a look at Mars as the moon will be passing it this week.
I am not a sky watcher by any means, but I do live in an area where you can get a pretty good look at the stars and sometimes planets. Every time I find stories about these types of things to look for in the sky, I always try to take a look. I'm in Newaygo County and it gets super dark where I live so every clear night is a joy to take a look into space at my place. I often get a good look taking the dog out for a late night bathroom break.
According to WOOD, this week, the waxing moon will pass by Mars.
I did a little research and learned that the waxing moon is when the moon is in between the Earth and the sun, the side of the moon facing away from the Earth is fully illuminated, and the side we can see is shrouded in darkness. So when the moon orbits the Earth, the angle between the moon and the sun increases. Astronomers call this the waxing moon.
So at night Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, January 19-21, if you would like to witness the waxing moon and get a look at Mars, just watch for the moon in the south and Mars will be right above the moon all three nights.
Mars will appear the same size as the moon, it will be tiny but visible and if you are really good you may be able to catch a look at Uranus just below Mars.
Unfortunately this week there are clouds in the forecast and this will make seeing Mars difficult so watch out for a gap in the clouds. You might get a peak at Mercury because it will be low and in the west-southwest. Venus may be spotted early in the morning in the low part of the southeast about a half an hour before the sun pops up.
If you want to get a look at Jupiter and Saturn, you are going to need the binoculars or a telescope for that. More than likely you won't see Saturn buy you may see Jupiter which will be west just after sunset.
If you in a town or city, in order to get the most of the sky, you will need to drive to a more un-populated area where no city or town lights can wash out the sky.