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Moon and Cancer on March 18

Tonight – March 18, 2016 – the bright waxing gibbous moon shines in front of Cancer the Crab, the faintest constellation of the Zodiac. Although the moon pinpoints Cancer’s place in the sky on this night, the moonlit glare will make Cancer virtually impossible to see.

However, you shouldn’t have much trouble spotting the planet Jupiter as darkness falls. This dazzling world lights up the eastern sky at nightfall and early evening. Look closely and you might even see Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, between the moon and Jupiter.

As the Earth spins beneath the heavens throughout the night, going from west to east, the moon, Regulus and Jupiter will appear to move westward across the sky. The moon and Cancer will set in the west in the wee hours before sunrise March 19.

For the next several months, use the dazzling planet Jupiter and the bright star Regulus to find the faint constellation Cancer the Crab.

For the next several months, use the dazzling planet Jupiter and the bright star Regulus to find the faint constellation Cancer the Crab.

Once the moon leaves the evening sky in late March, use the planet Jupiter and the star Regulus to star-hop to the constellation Cancer, as displayed on the sky chart above.

Bottom line: The bright waxing gibbous moon shines in front of Cancer the Crab, the faintest constellation of the Zodiac, on March 18, 2016.

Bruce McClure

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