The Moon takes aim at one of the brightest stars in the night sky tonight: Spica, the main star of the constellation Virgo. Spica is close to the lower left of the Moon as night falls, and even closer to the Moon as they set before dawn tomorrow.
Weekly Stargazing Tips
Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii). Check out last week's tips if you missed a night.
The planet Saturn perches to the left of the Moon as night falls this evening. It looks like a bright golden star. The true star Spica stands to their upper right.
A pair of hunting dogs chases high across the north tonight. Known as Canes Venatici, the hounds are pursuing Ursa Major, the great bear, which stands below them at nightfall. The bear includes the stars of the Big Dipper.
A new cycle of eclipses begins tonight as the full Moon just dips its toe in Earth’s faint outer shadow, the penumbra. That shadow will cover just about one percent of the lunar disk, but it is so faint that no one will notice the difference.
A beautiful bit of cosmic theater plays out very low in the west-northwest shortly after sunset the next few evenings. The dazzling planets Venus and Jupiter will slide past each other, while a fainter third planet, Mercury, watches from above.
Jupiter is quite low in the west-northwest beginning about 20 minutes after sunset this evening. The bright planet forms a tight triangle with brighter Venus, to its lower right, and fainter Mercury, a bit farther to its upper right.
The planets Venus and Jupiter pose side by side quite low in the western sky shortly after sunset. Venus is the brighter of the two, with Jupiter just to the left.