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Moon and Scorpion rise after Orion sets night of April 18-19

Beginning late at night on April 18-19, the bright star i the moon's vicinity is Antares in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion.  Antares is considered the Heart of the Scorpion.

Tonight is Apr 19, 2014

Moon Phase Courtesy U.S. Naval Observatory

On the night of April 18-19, 2014, the waning gibbous moon and the red supergiant star Antares of the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion rise in the southeast late at night. They appear over the horizon only after the constellation Orion has set. According to ancient myths, Orion and the Scorpion are archenemies and never appear in the same sky together.

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After the moon and Antares rise tonight, they will cross the sky westward together throughout the late night and early morning hours, to hover in the south to southwest sky at morning dawn.

At this time of year, as seen from mid-northern latitudes, Orion begins each night in the southwestern sky. Orion sinks beneath the western horizon by around midnight. At about the time Orion’s red supergiant star Betelgeuse sets in the west, watch for Antares to rise in the southeast. To know these stars’ precise rise/set times in your sky, check out this U.S. Naval Observatory website.

Antares beams as the brightest star in the summer constellation Scorpius the Scorpion, and Betelgeuse vies with Rigel as the brightest star in the winter constellation Orion.

Like clockwork, the constellations rise and set four minutes earlier with each passing day. Four minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up after a while. For instance, the stars rise and set about one-half hour earlier with each passing week, or about two hours earlier with each passing month. That’s six hours earlier after one three-month season. By late May or early June, that means Betelgeuse will totally disappear from the evening sky, whereas Antares will shine from dusk until dawn!

In 2014, Saturn is in front of Libra near Libra's two brightest stars, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali.  Even-brighter Antares is to one side of Saturn.  Two objects - Mars and star Spica - are to the other side.  Photo by EarthSky Facebook friend Annie Lewis in Madrid, Spain.  Thank you, Annie!

In 2014, bright Antares is to one side of the planet Saturn. Two objects – Mars and star Spica – are to the other side. Photo by EarthSky Facebook friend Annie Lewis in Madrid, Spain. Thank you, Annie!

Scorpius is one of the few constellations that looks like its namesake.  The bright red star Antares marks the Scorpion's Heart.  Notice also the two stars at the tip of the Scorpion's Tail.  They are known as The Stinger.

Scorpius is one of the few constellations that looks like its namesake. The bright red star Antares marks the Scorpion’s Heart. Notice also the two stars at the tip of the Scorpion’s Tail. They are known as The Stinger.

Bottom line: At or around midnight on the night of April 18-19, 2014, watch for the moon and the star Antares of the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion to rise in the southeast after the constellation Orion the Hunter has set in the west. The Hunter and the Scorpion are said in the ancient myths to be archenemies and never appear in the same sky together.

Betelgeuse: Will explode someday

Antares: Heart of the Scorpion

Orion descends in the west each evening

Get your kids interested in astronomy and the sky! Use EarthSky’s lunar calendar as a fun way to enjoy the moon phases throughout the year.