This sky map shows the location of Mars, the moon and the bright star Regulus at 9 p.m. ET on April 3, 2012, to observers at mid-northern latitudes.

Mars, Moon, Star Regulus Cavort in Colorful Triangle April 3

ICTMN Staff
4/4/12

The moon is at it again, this time cuddling in a brilliant triangle with two other bright lights, Mars and the star Regulus at about 9 p.m. on April 3.

Not one to sit around, the moon has moved on from its trysts with Venus and Jupiter earlier this year and tonight will hook up with Regulus, one of the sky’s brighter lights, and Mars.

While amorous Venus is off getting with the Pleiades, the moon will triangulate with the reddish-orange Mars and bluish Regulus in a fist-sized triangle, Space.com reports. This will be visible from 8:30 or 9 p.m. on, local time, on April 3, reaching its zenith at about 10:30 p.m. above the southern horizon.

Mars has been up to its own shenanigans this month, making its closest approach to earth for the year on March 3, when it was about 63 million miles away. Now it’s 71 million miles away and fading as the two planets drift farther apart on their respective trajectories around the sun. It will fade to about half its current brightness about a month from now, Space.com said.

The Red Planet is moving in a backward-looking loop in retrograde motion for the next two weeks, Space.com said.

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