Night Sky Watch: The moon helps Mommyo spot Jupiter and Spica

Artist's rendering of tomorrow morning's Moon/Spica/Jupiter celestial grouping. (Illustration: Andrew Facekas, SkySafari)

Artist’s rendering of tomorrow morning’s Moon/Spica/Jupiter celestial grouping. (Illustration: Andrew Fazekas, SkySafari)

Not content with merely helping us spot Regulus earlier this month, the moon continues its guided tour of the night sky with a stop near Jupiter and Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. The best view will be in the southwestern sky at dawn tomorrow. Because, of course, it will be.

If this keeps up, I may have to rename this series the Predawn Sky Watch. Or even more accurately, the Stupid O’Clock Sky Watch. Can we please have an astronomical event at a reasonable hour next time?

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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3 Responses to Night Sky Watch: The moon helps Mommyo spot Jupiter and Spica

  1. rayworth1973 says:

    Now, Spica I’m interested in. Why? Because it’s the main star, the “alpha” star in Virgo, which is the realm of the galaxies. If the weather cooperates, I can spot over a thousand galaxies in the area in the next couple of months. However, as in years past, the weather usually doesn’t cooperate and I’ll be lucky to spot a few dozen! The area is so crowded, it’s hard to tell them all apart and takes precise navigation and good charts and sometimes descriptions and photos to differentiate which is which. I’m crossing my fingers for the next few months!


    • Shala Howell says:

      If the weather cooperates indeed. Here we are also contending with immense light pollution. I’ve learned that if the cloud cover doesn’t completely thwart me, the light pollution will. Still I keep looking up and hoping. One day, I’ll see something cool, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rayworth1973 says:

    When we lived in South Haven (Valparaiso), I still had to drive south to Lemon Lake just to get halfway dark skies and even then, they were nowhere near as dark as they are out here in Las Vegas. Then again, I can’t observe from my back yard where I can’t even see the main stars in some constellations. I have to drive 30+ miles out of town to my dark site at Lake Mead. However, it’s well worth the drive. The only caveat is of course, the weather and finding another warm body to go with me. I don’t observe alone…ever.


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