Skywatching: August 6-7

Spica, Mars, Saturn, and More

Look to the southwest after sunset over the next few nights and you will find a parade of planets and stars.

Spica, Mars, and Saturn
Spica, Mars, and Saturn form a diagonal line in the southwest after sunset this week. (Screen capture of Star Walk for iOS)

Farthest west and lowest is the blue-white star Spica. On a diagonal line above and to the left of Spica, you will find two planets: first, orange-red Mars, and a little farther away, golden Saturn. If you have been following Mars all summer, note how much it has moved relative to Spica.

Keep following that line to the south, and you will next see the bright reddish star Antares. Antares is fairly low in the sky, so you will need a horizon without any nearby buildings.

Finally, at the end of the parade line is the waxing gibbous Moon, moving farther away from the rest every night as it grows closer to full.

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