Luna meets lion’s heart. As night falls on Tuesday, March 31, look for the moon closer to the horizon, parked just beneath Regulus. This bright blue-white star marks the heart of the constellation Leo the Lion, and is easy to spot with the naked eye even from bright city neighborhoods.
The moon at times can eclipse the courageous feline’s heart. The last time it happened was in 2008, and it will occur again in December 2016. On rare occasions, the planet Venus can travel in front of the star. That last happened in 1959, and the next such occultation will grace the skies in October 2044.
Jovian moon dance. As an added cosmic bonus on late Tuesday night, North American sky-watchers can watch the tiny, round, dot-like shadow of Callisto, one of the main moons of Jupiter, creep across the disk of the planet. Those with backyard telescopes can view this show from 11:14 p.m. to 3:57 a.m. EDT the next morning.
Venus and Pleiades preview. About a half hour after sunset on Thursday, April 2, look westward for the brilliant goddess of love, Venus, hanging below the Pleiades star cluster.