Witness the Waning Crescent Moon and Antares as New Year 2014 Comes

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | December 31, 2013 6:00 PM EST

As the end of 2013 comes, people will witness the delicate waning crescent moon as the sun rises on December 30. Although winter is really thick on the northern half of the globe, people there will still be able to take a glimpse of the December 30 moon.

Also we can see Antares, the red supergiant star, the brightest in the constellation Scorpios the Scorpion. In the Northern Hemisphere, Antares is a summer star. Around 90 to 60 minutes before the sun rises, look at the sky and you will see the Antares shining and gleaming low in the sky and close to the south.

Seeing Antares as the sun rises in the winter sky is a sign than summer is soon to come but the hotness of the coming season is still far away from the Northern Hemisphere. People need to wait to be able to see the Antares over the southeast horizon at night to know that summer is near. That will not happen around the June solstice or for the next six months.

Antares is seen just in sunrise this year and shortly after sundown six months after, because Earth moves halfway around the sun relative to the backdrop stars of the Zodiac.

If in the Northern Hemisphere the Antares is called the summer star, in the Southern Hemisphere it is called winter star. So on December 30, if people in south latitude see Antares close to the waning crescent moon, winter, instead of summer is near to come in their land.

What is common to both Northern and Southern Hemispheres is that, if you wish to witness this rare phenomenon, first, look for the waning crescent moon in the east daybreak on December 30. Then look for the supergiant star Antares just near the slim moon. We will witness this star only for a short period of time near dawn at this year. Antares will be seen and will shine again longer, starting from nightfall until daylight, six months from now.

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