ALTHOUGH there are no more lunar eclipses due for a while, the Moon is in the headlines a lot at the moment, writes STUART ATKINSON. Looking back, amazingly this year is the 50th (yes, 50th!) anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing, when Neil Armstrong took his famous "One small step." Looking forward, NASA was recently told by President Trump that they must send astronauts back to the Moon by the year 2025 - don't hold your breath for that though. And last week a privately built robotic Israeli probe reached the Moon, only for its landing attempt to fail at the very last moment.

This coming week the Moon will be our guide to finding one of the loveliest planets in the night sky, when it approaches and then passes Jupiter. You'll need to be up in the very early hours to see the pair, but they will look so pretty together it will be worth the lost sleep, I promise.

If you go out at around 2am on the morning of Tuesday, April 23 and look to their south east you'll see a big, bright, almost-full Moon shining a short way above the horizon. To its lower left, quite close, you'll see a bright, blue-white star - and this is actually the planet Jupiter. The following morning, Wednesday 24th, you'll see the two have swapped places, with the Moon now shining to Jupiter's lower left. If you have a pair of binoculars lift them to Jupiter and you'll see a few tiny pinprick stars close to it - some of its family of moons, each one almost as large as our own Moon, but almost 700 million kilometres away.

As the hours pass you'll be able to see the two worlds arc up and over to the south, growing fainter as the sky brightens until they wink out of view and our own local star, the Sun, returns to the sky once more.