May 27

Sky Report: May 29 – June 4, 2023

Turning first to planets, Mars and Venus form a pretty pair in the evening sky. They’re only 11° apart – the width of your fist held at arm’s length — but they’re very unmatched in brightness. Venus is the brightest thing in the night sky (other than the moon) but Mars is only 1/150 as […]

May 21

Sky Report: May 22 – 29

This week the moon passes Venus and then Mars, but it gets especially close to neither. On the evening of the 22nd it’s 5° to the lower right of Venus and both will fit within a pair of most binoculars. On the 23rd the moon is 6½° to the upper left of Venus and the […]

May 15

Sky Report: May 15 – 21

Venus and Mars continue to delight as they slowly cross the winter Milky Way where you can easily follow their movement night by night. Because they’re in front of the Milky Way there are many stars behind them to chart their progress, so take advantage of this opportunity; generally planets aren’t in front of the […]

May 6

Sky Report: May 8-14

There are only two planets visible in the evening sky but they’re putting on a nice show. If you merely step outside, glance up, notice them, and return inside, you’ve missed half the show. They’re changing position at a visible rate that you can easily see from night to night, and what’s even better is […]

Apr 29

Sky Report: May 1 – 7, 2023

Venus and Mars are the two planets in the evening sky and both are easy to spot. Venus is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon of course, and it sits 1/3 of the way up the western sky as twilight ends. Venus is so bright because it’s shrouded in highly […]

Apr 23

Sky Report: April 24 – 30

There aren’t as many planets in the evening sky as we’re used to seeing all winter. Presently only two are visible, plus there’s one in the morning sky. Here’s where they are. Venus is as brilliant as it is beautiful, especially when seen against colorful clouds or interesting features in the landscape. Then you have […]

Apr 15

Sky Report: April 17 – 23

People who like a challenge should try to spot the ultra-thin crescent moon, only 1% illuminated by the sun, immediately after sunset on the 20th when the moon is a scant 23 hours past new. Find a spot with a very low western horizon and use binoculars. It will be 5° below Mercury at the […]

Apr 9

Sky Report: April 10 – 16, 2023

This is the best week this year to see the elusive planet Mercury. Mercury never strays far from the sun and you can see it only in the morning, just before sunrise, or in the evening, just after sunset. Speedy Mercury orbits the sun in 88 days, so it reappears several times each year, but […]

Apr 1

Sky Report April 3 – 9, 2023

Stellar Vista Observatory Sky Report John Mosley April 3 – 9 The Sky Report is presented as a public service by the Stellar Vista Observatory, a non­profit organization based in Kanab, Utah, which provides opportunities for people to observe, appreciate, and comprehend our starry night sky. Additional information is at Send questions and comments […]

Mar 26

Sky Report: March 27 – April 2

I wrote that we’ll lose Jupiter before March ends, and for practical purposes that is true, but Jupiter is in a close conjunction with Mercury on the 27th and that may prompt people who enjoy a challenge to break out the binoculars and try to see it. Jupiter has been sinking in the west, setting […]