Feb 5

Sky Report: February 7 – 14

All last autumn you could see brilliant Venus, very bright Jupiter, and bright Saturn, all lined up in the southwest in the evening sky. Now we’re down to Jupiter, and we lose it too this week. On the 7th it is 9° high 45 minutes after sunset and you’ll see it if nothing blocks your […]

Feb 2

Sky Report: January 31 – February 6

The sole planet in the evening sky is now Jupiter, which you’ll see low in the west shortly after sunset. Its great brightness lets you see it nearer to the horizon, when we’re looking through more layers of our atmosphere, than nearby stars, none of which are as bright. On the 31st Jupiter is 14° […]

Jan 23

Sky Report: January 24 – January 30

Jupiter is the sole planet in the evening sky (not counting Uranus and Neptune, both visible in a small telescope in Aries and Aquarius respectively), and you’ll see Jupiter low in the west-southwest as the sky is growing dark. Jupiter far outshines even the brightest stars and its great brilliance lets you see it down […]

Jan 15

Sky Report: January 17 – January 23

Jupiter is the sole bright planet in the evening sky. It sets 4 minutes earlier each night and we’ll lose it next month. You might see Saturn one-half hour after sunset only a few degrees above the west-northwest horizon at the 5 o’clock position from Jupiter, with binoculars, but it won’t be easy. That leaves […]

Jan 9

Sky Report: January 10 – January 16

With Venus gone but Mercury trying to take its place we’re left with three planets in the evening sky, but only Jupiter will be easy to spot. It’s the brightest thing in the sky, other than the sun and moon, and it’s low in the southwest after sunset, setting three hours after the sun. To […]

Jan 2

Sky Report: January 3 – January 9

As predicted, the “Evening Star” – Venus – has left us, and it’s now moving between the earth and sun, soon to reappear as the “Morning Star” during the third week in January. The ancient Greeks called the Venus “Hesperus” when it appeared in the evening and “Phosphorus” when in the morning, although they knew […]

Dec 24

Sky Report: December 27, 2021 – January 2, 2022

I’ve been writing about the disappearance of Venus for weeks, and now it happens. Venus is moving between the earth and sun, and it’s most nearly in line with the sun on January 8th. That’s the day when it officially moves into the morning sky and becomes the “Morning Star” although you won’t actually see […]

Dec 20

Sky Report: December 20 – December 26

Venus continues its rapid descent out of the evening sky, setting 3 minutes earlier each night as it moves between the earth and sun. This was explained in detail in earlier Sky Reports which are archived at https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/category/sky-reports/. Say good-by to the Evening Star. Jupiter and Saturn are low in the west, to the left […]

Dec 12

Sky Report: December 13 December 19

During the next two weeks something dramatic happens in the sky: Venus, which has been the reliable and brilliant “Evening Star”, disappears. The four diagrams posted last week show what you’ll see. Each night Venus is significantly lower at the same time than the night before and it sets earlier. On the 13th it’s conspicuous […]

Dec 6

Sky Report: December 6 – December 12

We’ve enjoyed seeing brilliant Venus in the evening sky since June, but that’s about to end, and during the next four weeks you can watch it depart, then return to view in the morning sky late in January. Here’s what’s happening: Venus travels on an orbit that is inside ours, so as it orbits the […]