Visible Stars – August 8th

Moon Shines above Scorpion’s Stinger

Every month, the moon swings full circle in front of the constellations of the Zodiac. And each month, as the moon parades past the constellation Scorpius, the moon makes sure to stay a safe distance above the Scorpion’s stinger stars, Shaula and Lesath. After all, the lore of the skies tell us the Scorpion’s stinger put Orion the Mighty Hunter to death.

As seen from mid-northern latitudes in North America, the stinger stars loom close to the southern horizon at early evening, a good fist-width below tonight’s waxing gibbous moon. Depending on where you live worldwide, the moon’s position relative to the Scorpion’s stinger stars varies somewhat this evening.

If you live in Europe or Africa, the moon appears about one-half the way closer to Antares, Scorpius’ brightest star. Asian viewers see the moon and Antares even closer together. For those residing in the southern hemisphere, you’ll see the moon, Antares and the stinger stars high overhead, not close to the horizon.

When the moon drops out of the evening sky in late August and the first week in September, you can use the stinger stars to star-hop to two beautiful deep-sky treaures: the star clusters M6 and M7.

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