Find both Saturn and the moon above the “teapot”, the most familiar asterism in the the constellation of the Archer
This Tuesday, keep an eye open for a nice conjunction of Saturn and the moon. They will be visible in the southern sky as twilight turns into night. Saturn was at its closest approach to the earth in June but remains a bright yellowish light in the sky. It is located in the constellation of Sagittarius, just above the topmost star of the so-called “teapot”. This grouping of stars, called an asterism, contains the central stars of the full constellation and resembles – you guessed it – a teapot. The chart shows the view looking south for 21:00BST on 21 August 2018. The moon will be in a waxing gibbous phase, heading towards full. This maximum illumination will take place on Sunday. Because of its proximity, the moon is the only celestial object whose features can be seen with the unaided eye. The most prominent features are the lunar maria or “seas”. These are the dark patches on the moon. Not water – the seas are in fact basaltic plains that cover just over one-third of the Moon’s surface. They are solidified lava and are immensely old, having formed around 3–3.5 billion years ago.