Watching the Skies: Moon passes Jupiter and Saturn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The moon will make a pass by the two biggest planets in our solar system this week.

On the nights of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, look for the waxing gibbous moon overhead. You’ll be able to use it to find Jupiter and Saturn.

Jupiter will be easy to pick out. It is the fourth brightest celestial object in the sky behind the sun, moon and Venus, and it’s currently eight times brighter than Saturn. Still, you’ll be able to pick out Saturn easily by looking to the left of Jupiter.

Look to the south at dusk to see the three grouped together. Thursday evening, the moon will be to the right of Jupiter. By Friday, Jupiter will be almost directly above the moon. Finally on Saturday, the moon will be below and to the left of Saturn.

In addition to Jupiter and Saturn, you’ll be able to see Venus and Mars this week. Venus will rise before dawn in the east northeast and climb high in the east by dawn. The constellation Orion will be to the right of Venus.

Mars will become visible after twilight in the east. By dawn, look for the red planet high in the south.