Shortly before midnight on Aug. 18, the third-quarter moon will rise to the east-northeast. As the night progresses, the moon will work its way in between Mars and the Pleiades star cluster. The cluster may appear like a fuzzy blob to the unaided eye, but basic binoculars will make the stars easier to decipher. Pleiades will be slightly farther away from the moon than the red planet. Get the best glimpse of this lunar trifecta shortly before sunrise on Aug. 19.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit ranchomiragelibrary.org.
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