A couple of bright alignments greet early risers tomorrow. The Moon and the twins of Gemini are high in the western sky at dawn. And the planet Venus and the star Spica are in the southeast.
The Moon and Gemini actually climb into good view by about 8:30 or 9 tonight. Pollux, the brighter of the stars that represent the heads of the twins, is quite close to the Moon. Castor, the other twin, is farther to the upper left of the Moon. As the night rolls on, the Moon will widen the gap with Pollux. But they’ll still be quite close at first light.
Venus and Spica rise into good view by about three hours before sunrise.
Venus is the brilliant “morning star,” so you can’t miss it. Despite the nickname, it’s not really a star at all. Instead, it’s our closest planetary neighbor, which is one reason it shines so brightly.
Spica is a star — the brightest in the constellation Virgo. It stands to the right of Venus, by about the width of three fingers held at arm’s length. It’s one of the brightest stars in the night sky, so you won’t have any trouble spotting it.
By Saturday morning, the Moon will have moved into Cancer, one constellation over from the twins. Venus and Spica will still be close, but Venus will be starting to drop away. It’ll stand a little lower than Spica. The bright planet will continue to move back toward the Sun as Spica climbs higher in the early morning sky.
Tomorrow: Going for the GUSTO!
Script by Damond Benningfield