On Friday, “the old crescent will shine a generous palm’s width to the upper left (or 6.5 degrees to the celestial southwest) of the small, magnitude 5.8 speck of Uranus,” writes Chris Vaughan, an amateur astronomer with SkySafari Software who oversees Space.com‘s Night Sky calendar.
“The following morning, the moon will hop east to sit 5 degrees to Uranus’ lower-left,” Vaughan writes. The duo will be near enough to share the picture with a pair of binoculars.
Observers in the Southern Hemisphere — particularly in western and northern Australia and eastern Indonesia, will detect the moon occult Uranus last dawn on Saturday.
The moon is embarking on a morning planet tour; its next port of call is Venus on June 26, then Mercury on June 27.
The moon’s planetary “meet and greet” is not the only skywatching incident to watch out for in the coming weeks. Throughout June, stargazers are treated to a rare “planet parade” where all five naked-eye planets will be noticeable in the predawn sky as they line up in their orbital order from the sun. From left to right in the southeastern sky, people can spot Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn all in a row.