The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, captured this view of a recent impact crater on the Red Planet. According to a NASA description, “the new crater and its ejecta have distinctive color patterns. Once the colors have faded in a few decades, this new crater will still be distinctive compared to the secondaries by having a deeper cavity compared to its diameter.” North is up.
We may be losing Jupiter in the west at dusk, but two other planets are well placed in the late evening. Skywatchers in the UK and Western Europe should look low in the southern sky around 12am local time on 17, 18 and 19 June to see the waxing gibbous Moon in the vicinity of planets Mars and Saturn, plus first-magnitude star Antares in the constellation of Scorpius.
Although Jupiter close to opposition may be stealing the other naked-eye planets’ thunder, there’s lots more to see if you’re an early riser on the weekend of 5–6 May. About an hour before sunrise finds Mars and Saturn less than the span of an outstretched hand at arm’s length apart in the UK southern sky, with the waning gibbous Moon acting as a convenient guide to each planet on successive mornings.