The Moon, Mars, Regulus and ISON

by underswansea


Went for a brisk walk this morning. It was minus 5 and the cold feels like it is here to stay. Snapped this picture of the moon beside Swansea. The waning crescent moon is washed out due to the exposure. It is still an interesting photo, however. To the left of the moon is the planet Mars. Above and just to the left of the moon is the planet Regulus. Both Mars and Regulus seem to be the same distance to the moon. When I was a youngster this is how I first started to recognize planets and stars. The radio or newspaper would say when to view a conjunction and I would use the moon to point out the star or planet. Once I knew a few planets and stars I would use them as pointers to other celestial bodies. The remarkable thing about this is you could spend a lifetime studying the night sky and never be an expert. Also of interest, if Comet ISON could be seen with the naked eye, I believe, it would be near Regulus. If we are lucky ISON will survive its close encounter with the sun on November 28th and climb back into the eastern horizon, and become a spectacular naked eye object, before dawn in early December.