Starwatch: the moon moves into the last phase of its cycle

Starwatch chart 25 March 2019 moon in last quarter

Following last week’s full moon, this week our nearest celestial neighbour crosses from waning gibbous moon to waning crescent moon. It does that in the company of two giant planets, making it an attractive sight for those awake in the pre-dawn hours. The chart shows the view looking south-south-east at 0400 GMT on 28 March. The visible surface of the moon will be precisely half lit, a configuration called last quarter. This marks the boundary between waning gibbous and waning crescent phases. On 28 March, the last quarter moon will appear in the constellation Sagittarius. The moon will be equidistant from Saturn, to the lower left, and Jupiter, to the upper right. Saturn will be the dimmer of the two planets. It will appear as a yellow colour. Jupiter will be higher in the sky, brighter and a white colour. In this final week of the lunar cycle, the Moon rises later and later, eventually disappearing from view into the dawn glow. From here it will reappear as a young moon a few days later, and the next lunar month will begin. And don’t forget that British Summer Time begins this week at 0100 on Sunday, 31 March.


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