In the next two weeks the Moon will be in the early evening sky making it easy to find Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. The Moon will pass though the constellations Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, and Libra, and by the bright stars Aldebaran, Betelgeuse (beetle juice), Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Castor, Capella, Arcturus, Regulus, and Spica. Note: This is based on information for Aurora, CO (Mountain Time), but is close enough for use in other locations unless noted.
The Moon will go from New Moon (April 29) to Full Moon to in the next two weeks. Watch how the Moon changes position and phase as it orbits the Earth. Observe the Moon forty minutes to one hour after sunset (approximately 7:52pm to 8:06pm MDT at mid-month) if you can. After a few days see if you can predict where the Moon will be in the sky and its phase the next day. It’s a pattern our forefathers knew well, but lost to most of us living in the modern lighted world. You might just be surprised on how easy it is.
April 29-May5: The waxing (gets bigger) crescent phases. The Moon starts off as a very thin crescent on the western horizon near the setting Sun. Over the next six days the crescent will thicken and the Moon will move easterly away from the setting Sun to the south.
April 29-30: The Moon is too close to the setting Sun to be seen.
May 1-2: A very thin crescent moon is in the constellation Taurus the bull. On the May 1 a thin crescent is above the bright star Aldebaran. On May 2 the Moon moves between the bright star (on right) Capella the goat star in the constellation Auriga the charioteer red giant star (on left) Betelgeuse in constellation of Orion the hunter on the left. Betelgeuse is 135,000 times brighter than our Sun. Jupiter is above the Moon.
May 3-4: The Moon moves to the constellation Gemini the twins. On May 2 Jupiter is above the Moon. Above Jupiter are two somewhat bright stars Pollux and Castor, the Gemini twins. On May 4 the Moon moves between Procyon (left) in Canis Minor, the little dog and Jupiter (right)
May 5: The Moon is in the constellation Cancer, the crab. There are no noticeably bright stars in Cancer. Below the Moon is Procyon. Below Procyon low on the horizon is is the brightest star in the sky is Sirius in the constellation Canis Major, the big dog.
May 6: The Moon is at first quarter Moon or half-moon. When the Moon is at first quarter it is approximately in same place in space as the Earth and you were 3.5 hours ago.
May 7-13: The waxing gibbous phases. The Moon is no longer a crescent when the Moon is at First Quarter. After First Quarter the moon phases start getting fuller until full. The Moon continues moving easterly away from the setting Sun until it is on the eastern horizon.
May 10-12: The Moon is in of Virgo the virgin. On May 10 the Moon is to the right of Mars. On May 11 the Moon is between Mars (upper) and Spica the brightest star in Virgo. On May 12 the Moon is between Spica (upper) and Saturn (lower). To the left of Spica is Saturn. On May 22 the gibbous moon will be to the right of Saturn.
May 13-14: The Moon in the constellation of Libra the scales. There are no bright stars in Libra. Saturn. The Moon is above and right of Saturn. On May 14 the Moon is full and below and left of Saturn.
Wishing you clear skies