As seen from North America, the bright waning gibbous moon and the planet Neptune both reside in front of the constellation Aquarius on the night of June 26/27. From everywhere worldwide, the moon will shine near the border of the constellations Capricorn and Aquarius tonight.
You have to be a night owl or an early bird to catch tonight’s moon. It rises at late evening and reaches its high point for the night in the wee hours before dawn. Check out the links on our almanac page to find out when the moon and Neptune rise into your sky tonight.
Although the moon will remain in front of Aquarius for another day or two, Neptune will remain in front of this constellation of the Zodiac for many years to come. The moonlit glare will obscure Aquarius tonight, but wait another several days to view Aquarius in a dark sky. Familiarize yourself with Aquarius and you may be able to star-hop to Neptune on a dark clear night.
Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, is also the most distant solar system planet. In the year 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto, officially labeling this trans-Neptunian object as a dwarf planet. The IAU denied Pluto full-fledged planetary status because it determined that this world did not adequately clear “the neighborhood around its orbit.”
Be that as it may, that makes Neptune the only planet that you absolutely cannot see without an optical aid. Armed a detailed sky chart, you may well be able to spot Neptune with a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope on a dark, moonless night!
Despite the moonlit glare, you might even catch Neptune with a telescope during the wee morning hours tomorrow.