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 […]

Nov 29

Sky Report: November 29 – December 5

Do you recall that two weeks ago I invited readers to watch Venus approach Jupiter and Saturn and predict and then confirm the date on which Saturn is precisely midway between Jupiter on the left and Venus on the right? That date is December 4th when Saturn is 16-2/3° from both planets. As I emphasize […]

Nov 21

Sky Report: November 22 – November 28

The bright planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are nearly equally spaced in the southwest in the evening sky, with Saturn slightly closer to Jupiter than to Venus. Venus’ motion around the sun is carrying it eastward against the background stars of Sagittarius and closer to the outer planets, which, being slower in their orbits, are […]

Nov 14

Sky Report: November 15 – November 21

The highlight this week is an eclipse of the moon on the morning of Friday the 19th. The good news is that we can see the entire eclipse (and that’s true from the entire USA) but the bad news is that it happens early in the morning (half of all astronomical events happen after midnight!). […]

Nov 8

Sky Report: November 8 – November 14

The moon is nicely placed for observing this week, moving eastward day-by-day (or night-by-night) in the evening sky. It begins this week in the summer constellation Sagittarius and moves through the autumn constellations Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces – and ends the week in Cetus! Cetus, the Whale or Sea Monster, is not a constellation of […]