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Venus and Mars

Venus blazes as the brilliant Evening Star now. It outshines everything in the night sky except the Moon. Fainter Mars is close to its upper left. The two planets will stay close for a few more nights, then start to move apart.

Moon in Balance

The Moon is moving into Libra, the balance scales. Libra’s two brightest stars are close to the Moon this evening. Originally, the stars formed the claws of the scorpion. Even today, their names represent that heritage: Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi, the northern and southern claws.

Moon and Spica

The Moon has a bright companion tonight: Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo. Spica is quite close to the lower right of the Moon. The bright Moon washes out the star’s pale blue color.

Messier 10

Messier 10, one of the closest of the Milky Way’s giant globular star clusters, is near the middle of Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer, which is in the southeast at nightfall. Messier 10 is a family of hundreds of thousands of stars, and lies just 15,000 light-years away.


Deneb, the star that marks the tail of Cygnus, the swan, is in the northeast at nightfall, at the left point of the bright Summer Triangle. It’s a supergiant star that’s perhaps 2,600 light-years away, making it one of the most-distant stars visible to the unaided eye.