The Moon and Mars show themselves in all their beauty
This is the perfect week of April to see our natural satellite in all its glory. After the phase of the new moon last Friday, the young crescent moon will become bigger and climb the western sky after sunset.
As the moon gets bigger every evening, the sun rises over the lunar surface. Throughout the terminator, the pole-to-pole border that separates the illuminated and obscured hemispheres, sunlight strikes the moon at a very low angle – projecting long, deep, and black shadows from all elevated lunar terrain. This includes crater rims and central peaks, mountain ranges, faults and even lava flows. The views change hour by hour and night at night as the sun rises, and are perfect for viewing in binoculars and courtyard telescopes – all at a convenient time in the evening!
The Moon and Mars are approaching this week. In the western sky, on the evening of Monday 8 April, the crescent crescent moon will land 7 degrees below the Red Sea. Tuesday night, the moon will jump to the upper left corner of Mars, between the horns of the Bull (the Bull). At the same time, look for the bright orange star Aldebaran which is located 7 degrees to the left of Mars and the small and bright Pleiades Cluster with a palm width at the bottom right of Mars. The close approach between Moon and Mars will be too widely separated to fit the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through binoculars.