Moon and Saturn, Redux

Skywatching: August 22

The Moon is a First Quarter Moon this Saturday, August 22. And on Saturday night, the Moon will be just above and to the left of the planet Saturn. Saturn is currently the lone planet visible (to the naked eye) in the evening sky. As the weeks progress, Saturn will set earlier and earlier in the evening, eventually to be lost in the glare of the evening twilight and setting sun–so catch Saturn now while you still can.

Saturn and the Moon are in the southwest as night falls. While you are looking in their direction, you will also see another bright light in the west, higher above the horizon. This is Arcturus, the second brightest star in the evening sky, and the brightest currently visible in Chicago. Arcturus is currently brighter than the planet Saturn, which is a little crazy when you consider that Arcturus is over 150,000 times farther away from Earth than Saturn is. Of course, it helps that Arcturus is a star, emitting its own light and energy, while Saturn only reflects our Sun’s light.

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