Weekend Stargazing: Crescent Moon and Clusters

The waning crescent Moon, the Hyades, and Pleiades star clusters before sunrise on July 12, 2015.

The waning crescent Moon, the Hyades, and Pleiades star clusters before sunrise on July 12, 2015.

The Moon is on the wane this week, a boon for stargazers who crave the darkest sky. But the Moon remains a pretty sight in the early-morning sky before sunrise, thinning down to a slender crescent by the July 12th as it passes through the sprawling Hyades star cluster in the eastern sky and close to the orange giant star Aldebaran. The Hyades is a V-shaped group of stars about three finger-widths wide. Look for the resplendent Pleiades star cluster above the Moon and Hyades. If you can see down to the horizon, you might even see Mercury before it disappears into the glare of the Sun for the month.

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