The moon will be on the other side of Jupiter on Mother's Day 2013.

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The moon will be on the other side of Jupiter on Mother's Day 2013.

Jupiter and Tender Crescent Moon Flirt Chastely on Mother’s Day

We've seen Jupiter, the moon and Venus cavort in the sky in various configurations for months. On Mother’s Day they will make a more sedate showing, as Jupiter flirts chastely with a crescent moon.

Mother Earth will receive her Mother’s Day gift as darkness falls on Sunday May 12, with a narrow sliver crescent moon just three days new. Close to the right of it will be silvery Jupiter, shimmering in one of its last appearances of the season; it is en route to the far side of the sun, so will soon be fading from view.

From the 11th through the 13th, the moon, Venus and Jupiter will be together, but not in a triangle. They will “form a long diagonal line jutting upward from the sunset,” NASA says.

Meanwhile, on May 12, Space.com says, look west-northwest just as twilight fades into dark, and Jupiter will be unmistakable, low on the horizon. Just half a fist away will be the tenderest sliver of moon.

After May 17 Jupiter will set before the sky is dark, so it will be hard if not impossible to spot, Space.com says. But before that it will team up with some other planets later in the month and “go out with a bang,” as Space.com puts it. Stay tuned for some trios and trysts as later this month Mercury joins the fray in a three-way conjunction. Stay tuned. NASA offers a plot spoiler of sorts below.

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