Bright star next to Moon: What planet is next to the Moon tonight?

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The Waxing Gibbous Moon rose in the eastern skies tonight, charting a path that will carry it west. At the same time the Moon became visible, a bright star appeared just up and to the left of the Moon. The Moon and its companion will journey across the sky tonight, disappearing below the western horizon after 3am GMT tomorrow (November 26).

What is the bright star next to the Moon tonight?

Despite its deceptive look, the bright light is not a star but the Red Planet Mars.

The Moon and Mars are in conjunction tonight, meaning the pair will appear to come withing touching distance of one another.

And Mars is not the only planet that will make an appearance tonight.

The Ecclesfield School Science Department tweeted: “A great clear night for stargazing over Sheffield @BBCStargazing.

“Look at the Moon and above it you’ll see Mars! Jupiter is also visible tonight.

“If you have binoculars try using them to view the Moon and stars.”

The VirtualAstro account of the Meteorwatch group also tweeted: “The Moon and Mars are looking fabulous this evening.

“Mars is the bright object to the top left of the Moon.”

According to Astronomy magazine, the Red Planet will appear just five degrees from the Moon by 8pm GMT (3pm EST).

Mars will move through the constellation of Pisces the Fish, while the Moon will move through Cetus the Whale.

Conjunctions like this are a fairly frequent event, as they unfold between stars, planets and even asteroids.

Astronomer Scott Levine said: “Any time two objects pass each other on the sky’s dome, they’re said to be at conjunction.

“These sorts of conjunctions – maybe between two planets, or a planet and a star, or a planet or star and the moon – happen multiple times every month.

“They are beautiful. The view can stop you in your tracks.”

And before the year is over, keep your eyes peeled for the spectacular conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter.

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Everything you need to know about the Moon:

The Moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite, although tiny space rocks dubbed minimoons can get caught in Earth’s orbit.

On average, the Moon sits about 240,000 miles or 385,000km from our homeworld.

And with a radius of about 1,079 miles (1737.5km), the Moon is the fifth biggest moon in our solar system.

Humans first landed on the Moon on April 20, 1969, during the monumental Apollo 11 mission.

Everything you need to know about Mars:

Mars is known as the Red Planet thanks to its characteristic red-brown hue.

Although humans are yet to land on the Red Planet, numerous probes from across the globe have been sent there.

One year on Mars lasts about 687 Earth days and the planet orbits the Sun from about 142 million miles (228 million km).

Scientists speculate simple life may have once developed on Mars, although the planet is now cold and uninhabitable.

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