About: John Mosley

John Mosley was Program Supervisor of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles for 27 years and is the author of “Stargazing for Beginners” and “Stargazing with Binoculars and Telescopes”. He and his wife live in St. George where he continues to stargaze from his retirement home while serving on the advisory committee for Stellar Vista Observatory.

Recent Posts by John Mosley

Mar 6

Sky Report: March 8 – March 14

This has been true for weeks and remains true today: Mars is the only planet in the evening sky. The earth and Mars were closest six months ago, when the earth, on our inside orbit, passed slower-moving Mars, and we’re now leaving it behind as we race ahead around the sun. Mars remains easily visible […]

Feb 28

Sky Report: March 1 – March 7

Mars remains the sole planet in the evening sky. It’s in the news as craft from several countries go into orbit around it and land on its surface, and you can see Mars as one of the brighter “stars” high in the southwest as darkness falls. A short distance to the left, or east, of […]

Feb 21

Sky Report: February 22 – February 28

Only two months ago we enjoyed the remarkable sight of Jupiter and Saturn sitting extremely close together in the evening sky, and then Mercury made a great appearance when it was easy to see. These three planets then moved close to the sun, but they’re back – now on the other side of the sun […]

Feb 14

Sky Report: February 15 – February 21

This will be true for some time: Mars is the one planet in the evening sky (not counting Uranus which is nearby), and it’s high in the southwest at sunset. Mars is 11 light-minutes away, which means that the light of Mars we see now left Mars 11 minutes ago. This is true of radio […]

Feb 7

Sky Report: February 8 – February 14

Mars remains the sole planet visible tonight, and you can easily see it high in the southwest as darkness falls. It remains visible until it sets after midnight. Mars is brighter – and oranger – than any star in the area so you’ll have no trouble identifying it. Three spacecraft reach Mars this month, an […]

Jan 31

Sky Report: February 1 – February 7

The sole planet visible tonight in both the evening and morning sky is Mars, since all the others are behind the sun (or in front of it in the case of Mercury). But Mars is easy to see. At our southernly latitude it’s nearly overhead as darkness falls, and it’s the brightest “star” in that […]

Jan 24

Sky Report: January 25 – January 31

Beginning with planets, two are out this evening – Mars and Mercury. Mercury is hard to see and getting harder by the day. Being on an orbit that is inside ours it never strays far from the sun, so it’s always near the horizon in twilight. It was at its greatest angular separation from the […]

Jan 16

Sky Report: January 18 – January 24

Mars, Uranus, and the first-quarter moon on the 20th plus stars as bright or brighter than Uranus. The brightest stars of Aries are at top. The moon is 6-1/3° from Mars and all three might be seen together in very wide-angle binoculars. Jupiter and Saturn have left the evening sky while at the same time […]

Jan 10

Sky Report: January 11 – January 17

Jupiter and Saturn were in conjunction last month, and at their closest they were separated by a scant 1/10°. They’re still close, and on the 11th they’re separated by 2½° and remain a nice double planet in binoculars. But Mercury joins them, and for a few days only you have the opportunity to see three […]

Jan 4

Sky Report: January 4 – January 10

This week is your last chance to see Jupiter and Saturn, still unusually close together. They were at their closest on December 21 when Jupiter passed only 1/10° from Saturn. Now Jupiter is pulling away from Saturn but they’re still less than 2° apart. Look for Jupiter a half-hour after sunset very low in the […]

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