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Mars in the East

For much of the UK, tonight promises to be a good night for some stargazing. With a bit of luck the only clouds for many will be from our breath. The moon, which is four days off full, will outshine many of the stars but should not spoil the party.

If the sky is clear we will get a very good view of Mars in the east in the early evening. Sitting between the constellations of Leo (easy to find) and Cancer (hard to find), it will be rising about thirty degrees north of east at dusk and pass through due east at 8.30pm. By then Orion, below the high moon, will have moved to occupy a large part of the southern sky. If you follow Orion’s belt down to nearer the horizon then low in the southeast you will see the brightest star of them all, Sirius.

If you do happen to be awake late, then Mars will have moved to be due south and high in the sky by 1am. By this time the moon will have begun its steep descent in the west. If you are enjoying this in fresh air then you will either be very cold, or the owner of some excellent outdoor kit.

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