That same evening, the waxing, half-illuminated moon will be positioned 7 degrees to the southwest of the two planets. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. It's easy to measure distances between objects: Your fist on an outstretched arm covers about 10 degrees of sky, while a finger covers about one degree. Being 11 times fainter than Jupiter, Saturn will be lost to view in the southwestern twilight after the opening week of January. It's a surprise addition to the December lineup. In the west-southwestern sky on the evening of Saturday, January 23, Mercury (orbit shown in red) will reach its widest separation, 19 degrees east of the Sun. By month-end, Neptune will be rather low in the west by the time the sky darkens enough to see it. Astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted: “Venus and the Moon, beautiful, timeless perspective this morning.” During the night the moon's orbital motion (green line) will draw the moon farther from the cluster, and the diurnal rotation of the sky will lift the moon higher compared to the cluster. Venus, always the brightest object in the night sky other than the Moon. One person tweeted earlier this month: “Did anyone notice this super bright light (supposedly Venus or … Both celestial bodies can be seen tonight near the constellation Taurus. It’s the 3rd brightest object in the sky, after the sun and the moon. Very close to Sun, hard or impossible to see. Terminator: The boundary on the moon between sunlight and shadow. Because Venus will be swinging sunward, that viewing window will decrease from 90 minutes on January 1 to only half an hour at month-end. From dark sky locations the magnitude 7.9 planet can be observed in good binoculars and backyard telescopes. Below, find out what's up in the night sky tonight (Planets Visible Now, Moon Phases, Observing Highlights This Month) plus other resources (Skywatching Terms, Night Sky Observing Tips and Further Reading). This apparition will be a very good one for observers located at mid-Northern latitudes – but the planet's position north of the evening ecliptic will make Mercury difficult to see from southern latitudes. The best time to view the distant planet will be as soon as the sky darkens fully—when the planet will be about one-third of the way up the southwestern sky. The full moon is minus 12.7 and the sun is minus 26.8. The clear skies is brining an astronomical delight to Gloucestershire and the country for a second night. The event will be observable in binoculars and backyard telescopes – but remember that a telescope (red circle) will likely invert and/or mirror the scene shown here. Neptune will be available for observing in the early evening sky during January. The evenings surrounding first quarter are the best for seeing the lunar terrain when it is dramatically lit by low-angled sunlight. A blanket or lounge chair will prove much more comfortable than standing or sitting in a chair and craning your neck to see overhead. The bright light is not a star - although it is sometimes called the Evening Star - but rather the planet Venus. The Straight Wall is always prominent a day or two after first quarter, and again just before third quarter. Moon phases visualized in real time, the past, or the future. Show them Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Dates and tips on how and where to see "shooting stars" from meteor showers all over the world. In the southwestern sky on the evening of Wednesday, January 20, the waxing, half-illuminated moon will pass Mars and Uranus, which will be reaching their minimum separation that night. Unfortunately, a bright moon will greatly reduce the number of Quadrantids meteors in 2021. Third quarter moons are positioned ahead of the Earth in our trip around the Sun. Need some help? Visit our corporate site. conjuction. Asterism: A noteworthy or striking pattern of stars within a larger constellation. And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to its shape, the Pleiades are sometimes confused with the Little Dipper. Low in the southeastern sky on Monday, January 11, the delicate crescent of the old moon will sit a few finger widths to the right (or 4 degrees to the celestial southwest) of the bright planet Venus. Visual Magnitude: This is the astronomer's scale for measuring the brightness of objects in the sky. The moon will remain close to them on January 21. When the moon reaches its third quarter phase at 9:37 GMT (or 2:37 a.m. EST) on Wednesday, January 6, it will rise at about midnight, and then remain visible in the southern sky all morning. Telescope views of the planet will show Mars' apparent disk diameter shrinking from 10 to 8 arc-seconds. Thursday, August 15 • Different people have an easier or harder time seeing star colors, especially subtle ones. Just after sunset tonight, you may have seen a bright “star” next to the moon. The optimal viewing times at mid-northern latitudes fall around 6 p.m. local time. Mercury will climb past Jupiter on January 10-12, and the young crescent moon will join those planets on January 14. To best see Messier 35's stars, hide the bright moon beyond the left edge of your binoculars' field of view. Although the bright object might look like a star at first glance, some stargazers have guessed correctly: it is a planet. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu and Chris at @Astrogeoguy. Beta The Interactive Night Sky Map simulates the sky above Portland on a date of your choice. On that date it will temporarily cease its westward motion through the distant stars of southwestern Aries before resuming its regular eastward motion. Jan. 15, 2006: Stardust spacecraft returns samples of comet dust, Curiosity rover celebrates 3,000 Martian days on the Red Planet, After 'Apollo 11': New short film goes into 'Quarantine' after first moon landing, NASA extends planetary science missions at Mars and Jupiter. The brightest objects get negative numbers. © I put out a call on Twitter last night for pictures of … Light Pollution: Even from a big city, one can see the moon, a handful of bright stars and sometimes the brightest planets. Use it to locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and track their movements across the sky. NY 10036. Mercury and Saturn will be a challenge to see within the evening twilight – except for skywatchers at southerly latitudes, where the sky will darken faster. The moon and planets occasionally appear to pass closely by each other in the night sky. The Moon and its companion will journey across the sky tonight, disappearing below the western horizon after 3am GMT tomorrow (November 26). In Greek mythology, those characters were the daughters of Atlas, and half sisters of the Hyades. The light isn’t actually a star, it’s the planet Venus. Adjust to the dark: If you wish to observe faint objects, such as meteors or dim stars, give your eyes at least 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness. The map also shows the phases of the Moon, and all solar and lunar eclipses. If you're in the suburbs, simply turning off outdoor lights can help. The best time for viewing Quadrantids will be before dawn, when the shower's radiant, which lies beyond the tip of the Big Dipper's handle, will be high in the northeastern sky. Mercury joins the them on January 9, 10 and 11. A bright star can be seen next to the moon and it reminds us of something we saw recently. A terrific season of Jupiter viewing will end in January. An hour of observing a winter meteor shower can chill you to the bone. Degrees (measuring the sky): The sky is 360 degrees all the way around, which means roughly 180 degrees from horizon to horizon. After sunset, look just above the southwestern horizon after sunset on Saturday, January 9 to see Mercury sitting just a thumb's width to the lower left (or 1.7 degrees to the celestial south) of Saturn—with brighter Jupiter positioned above them. Mercury and Saturn will be a challenge to see within the evening twilight. The star will re-appear from behind the upper, dark edge of the moon at 11:20 p.m. EST. The map also shows the phases of the Moon, and all solar and lunar eclipses. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, About 3½ hours later, Earth will occupy that same location in space. On January 20, Mars will pass only 1.6 degrees to the north of magnitude 5.76 Uranus, outshining the blue-green planet by a factor of 164! The bright moon is nearly 16 days past its new phase and 98% illuminated. As winter-chilled Northern Hemisphere dwellers will attest, daily temperatures on Earth are not controlled by our proximity to the sun, but by the number of hours of daylight we experience. Full moons during the winter months reach as high in the sky as the summer noonday sun, and cast similar shadows. Because Earth will continue to increasing our distance from Mars, the red planet will diminish in brilliance by almost half this month—fading from magnitude –0.22 on January 1 to magnitude +0.44 on January 31. Jupiter is just 10 degrees from the Sun in the sky, so it is difficult to see. Mercury is just 16 degrees from the Sun in the sky, so it is difficult to see. On Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, Jan. 26 to 27, 2021, the bright star Pollux will appear near the waxing gibbous Moon. With Mercury positioned close to the evening ecliptic (green line), this appearance of the planet will offer excellent views for Northern Hemisphere observers, but it will not be ideal for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. And because it’s the second Moon in a month, it’s also popularily called a Bue Moon. Like Ceres last night, it may be hard to spot the dim planet (magnitude 7.8) amidst the Moon’s bright glow. Mars will be at its maximum elevation, more than halfway up the southern sky, right after dusk, and then it will descend as it's carried west by Earth's rotation. During the first half of the month the bright, magnitude -1.95 planet will appear above the southwestern horizon for a short time after sunset – but it will become more entrenched within the evening twilight with each passing day. Both the planet and that star will appear together in the field of view of a telescope at low magnification. On January 14, magnitude 5.75 Uranus will complete a retrograde loop that began in mid-August. Gibbous: Used to describe a planet or moon that is more than 50% illuminated. The map also shows the phases of the Moon, and all solar and lunar eclipses. It’s sometimes called the Dog Star because it’s part of the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. Viewed in a telescope during the month, Mercury's illuminated phase will wane from nearly full to a thin crescent as it moves between Earth and the sun—and its apparent disk size will swell from 5 to 9 arc-seconds. The night sky is more than just the moon and stars, if you know when and where to look. Very faint, use binoculars. Mars will continue to be conveniently positioned for observing from dusk until an hour after midnight during January – but it will be far fainter and smaller than it was during October's opposition. Three evenings after Mercury passes close to bright Jupiter in the southwestern sky, a pretty young crescent moon will join those two planets immediately after sunset on Thursday, January 14 – setting up a lovely photo opportunity. Not surprisingly, many cultures, including Aztec, Maori, Sioux, Hindu, and more, have noted this object and developed stories around it. Once the sky darkens on Monday evening, January 25, skywatchers can look for the large open star cluster known as Messier 35, or the Shoe-Buckle Cluster, sitting just to the upper right (or celestial west) of the bright waxing gibbous moon in Gemini. Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments in to email@example.com. On Monday evening, November 23, the pole-to-pole terminator boundary that divides the lit and dark hemispheres of the waxing gibbous moon, will fall just to the left (or lunar west) of Rupes Recta, also known as the Lunar Straight Wall. Named for a now-defunct constellation called the Mural Quadrant, the annual Quadrantids meteor shower runs from December 30 to January 12. Those times convert to 3:09 to 4:20 GMT on January 30). Permalink Notice: Night Sky for San Diego, USA. But it is not a star. If you can find Jupiter, binoculars might show you the ringed planet sitting less than 2 degrees to Jupiter's lower right. You can use Mars to find Uranus in the same binoculars field of view from January 10 to 25. With binoculars, four of the planet’s moon, also become visible. This shower's most intense period, when 50 to 100 meteors per hour can occur, lasts only about 6 hours surrounding the peak, which is predicted to occur on Sunday, January 3 at 10:00 GMT (or 5 a.m. Eastern time). Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Beta The Interactive Night Sky Map simulates the sky above San Diego on a date of your choice. Venus is visible by day, but may be hard to find. In fact, there aren’t any really bright stars visible right now. Jupiter was only 3 degrees from the Moon last night, making a pretty (and bright!) Is NASA about to get its first female leader. See how far the planets are from the Sun or Earth, how bright they look, and their apparent size in the sky. Please use another device/browser or check out the desktop version of the Interactive Night Sky Map. Known as the Wolf Moon, Old Moon, and Moon after Yule, this moon always shines in or near the stars of Gemini or Cancer. As evening twilight ends (at 6:24 p.m. EST), Pollux will appear about 9 degrees to the lower left of the Moon. Over the rest of the night, the moon's orbital motion will carry it half as far from Vesta, and the diurnal rotation of the sky will lift the asteroid above the moon. The pair, which will rise at about 6:40 a.m. in your local time zone, should remain easily visible while the morning sky brightens towards sunrise, making a nice photo opportunity when composed with some interesting scenery. Uranus can be seen for more than 7 hours after sunset and during the late evening/early night. The … That's Jupiter. At magnitude +5.75, Uranus can be seen in binoculars (red circle) and backyard telescopes, and even with unaided eyes, under dark skies. Jupiter will disappear by month end – and then reach solar conjunction on January 29. That’s right—we’ll have a full Moon on Halloween night this year! Do you see the bright 'star' next to the moon tonight? After dusk the moon will be positioned a palm's width below (or 7 degrees to the celestial southwest of) bright Mars – with much dimmer Uranus sitting a thumb's width below (or 1.6 degrees south of) the reddish planet. Please refresh the page and try again. At that time, the Earth will be traversing the thickest part of the debris field. After the moon rises late on Sunday evening, magnitude 7.1 Vesta will be sitting several finger widths below (or 4 degrees to the celestial east) of the moon. You can also use astronomy apps and software to make your observing easier, and use our Satellite Tracker page powered by N2YO.com to find out when to see the International Space Station and other satellites. On January 20, Mars will sit only 1.6 degrees to the north of Uranus, outshining the blue-green planet by a factor of 164! Try finding a good, unobstructed view of the horizon. They are all “first magnitude” stars. The "evening star" Venus will meet up with the waxing, crescent moon in the night sky this weekend. Use it to locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and track their movements across the sky. © Time and Date AS 1995–2020. The map also shows the phases of the Moon, and all solar and lunar eclipses. The second largest planet, Saturn, will … Venus is close to the Sun and can only be seen shortly before sunrise. Tomorrow it'll be just across the constellation border into dim Aquarius. When the moon completes the first quarter of its orbit around Earth at 4:01 p.m. EST (or 21:01 GMT) on Wednesday, January 20, the relative positions of the Earth, sun, and moon will cause us to see it half-illuminated—on its eastern side. After Thursday, the planet will begin to move eastward again. That “star” was the planet Venus. This feature is very obvious in good binoculars and backyard telescopes. Brighter stars are magnitude 2 or 1. Neptune can best be seen in the hours just after sunset. On January 14 the crescent moon will be positioned a fist's diameter to the upper left (or 10 degrees to the celestial southeast) of Jupiter, with dimmer Mercury midway between them – setting up a lovely photo opportunity. You can spot the celestial pair above the western horizon after sunset. Zenith: The point in the sky directly overhead. Use the moonless first half of January to try seeing the magnitude 5.7 planet with unaided eyes or binoculars. The best viewing times for that planet grouping will be a short period after 5:30 p.m. local time – but you'll need an unobstructed horizon to see them. On Saturday, January 23, the large main belt asteroid designated (4) Vesta will begin a westward retrograde loop (red path with dates) through the stars of Leo. A sky map is helpful. When, where and how to see the planets in the 2021 night sky, The top skywatching events to look for in 2021, Best night sky events of January 2021 (Stargazing Maps), 2021: Rocket launches, sky events, missions & more, On This Day in Space! The three planets will set at about 6 p.m. local time, an hour after sunset. Visually, the cluster is composed of medium-bright, hot blue stars named Asterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno, and Alcyone. After 24 hours, the speedy planet will be higher – forming a small triangle just above the southwestern horizon with Saturn 2 degrees to Mercury's right and Jupiter positioned 2 degrees above them. Vesta will cross the southern sky during the bulk of the night. On January 11, the old crescent moon will sit a few finger widths to the right (or 3-4 degrees to the celestial southwest) of Venus, making a nice photo opportunity when composed with some interesting scenery. Regions to the north and south will see the moon pass very close to that star. The best viewing time will be around 5:20 p.m. local time – but you'll need an unobstructed view to the southwest. Prepare for skywatching: If you plan to be out for more than a few minutes, and it's not a warm summer evening, dress warmer than you think necessary. Venus can be as bright as magnitude minus 4.9. But eagle-eyed stargazers have also noticed a particularly bright star shining to the right of the Moon. When the sun has large sunspots, they can be seen without a telescope. As the year opens, you can still view 2 bright close-knit planets in evening twilight: Jupiter and Saturn. Just a couple of days before we are visited by a rare blue moon on Halloween night, two of our closest celestial neighbors will appear side by side in the night sky.. Telescope views of the planet will show its tiny 3.6 arc-seconds wide disk. Fri, Jan 15 at 5:05 pm - Sat, Jan 16 at 6:50 am. Saturn will reach solar conjunction on January 24, five days before Jupiter. But you'll need to know where to look. The orbital motion (red arc) of Mercury will be carrying the speedy planet between Earth and the sun, while the gas giants will be on the far side of our star. More specifically, it is the brightest planet visible from Earth – Venus. After the Sun and the Moon, Venus is the third brightest object in our skies. Visible around sunset only. Finally, this October brings us TWO full Moons: the full Harvest Moon on Thursday, October 1 AND the full Hunter’s Moon on Saturday, October 31. The nearly-full moon and Mars, then Venus and the bright star Regulus, will pair up on the night of Oct. 2, 2020. If you're stuck in a city or suburban area, a building can be used to block ambient light (or moonlight) to help reveal fainter objects. From January 9 to 12, the planet Mercury will climb past the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, which will be descending sunward. In the southwestern sky on Monday, January 4, the waning gibbous moon will pass near the main belt asteroid designated (4) Vesta. They'll be a challenge to see within the evening twilight. Look in eastern Aquarius, about 1 degree to the east of the medium-bright star Phi Aquarii, or φ Aqr. Beta The Interactive Night Sky Map simulates the sky above Raleigh on a date of your choice. In mid-evening the bright red planet will be positioned three finger widths to the lower right (or 3.25 degrees to the celestial northwest) of Uranus. That same evening, the waxing, half-illuminated moon will pass the two planets. On the evening of January 23 in the Americas, Mercury will reach its widest separation, 19 degrees east of the Sun, and maximum visibility, particularly between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. local time. The animation is not supported by your device/browser. You'll need an unobstructed southwestern horizon to catch Jupiter before it sets at 6 p.m. in your local time zone. Mars can help you find it. By the time Mars sets in the west after midnight local time, the diurnal rotation of the sky will slide the moon to the planets' lower left. The week of dark, moonless evening skies that follow this phase will be ideal for observing deep sky targets. Since it's opposite the sun on this day of the lunar month, the moon is fully illuminated, and rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. The full “Buck Moon” shone directly beneath bright Jupiter on Sunday. A clear night sky offers an ever-changing display of fascinating objects to see — stars, constellations, and bright planets, often the moon, and sometimes special events like meteor showers. Quadrantids commonly produce bright fireballs owing to the shower's source, an asteroid designated 2003EH. Tonight, magnitude 6.65 Vesta can be found sitting several finger widths to the right (or 4.25 degrees to the celestial south) of the bright star Denebola, the lion's tail. Use it to locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and track their movements across the sky. Fairly close to the Sun. In order of brilliance, the brightest stars that can therefore be seen near the Moon are Aldebaran in Taurus, Antares in Scorpius, Spica in Virgo, Pollux in Gemini, and Regulus in Leo. Under magnification, hundreds of stars appear. One-tenth as bright Saturn will sit only 2 degrees below (or to the celestial west) of Jupiter all month long. Observing the night sky can be done with no special equipment, although a sky map can be very useful. The bright star next to the moon in a picture taken in New York Credit: Alamy Live News What is the star by the moon? A clear and cold night has brought a spectacular sight above Gloucestershire this evening. At the same time the Moon became visible, a bright star appeared just up and to the left of the Moon. December 9 & 10 - See the northern lights. In Japan, it is called Suburu, and forms the logo of the eponymous car maker. To the east, a bright waning gibbous Moon brightens the sky in Taurus. Use brighter Jupiter to find dimmer Mercury and Saturn. Daytime skywatching: When Venus is visible (that is, not in front of or behind the sun) it can often be spotted during the day. Privacy & Terms. The trio will easily fit into the field of view of binoculars (red circle) – but ensure that the sun has completely vanished below the horizon before using them. On January 5, Mars' eastward motion will carry it from Pisces to western Aries, which it will traverse for the rest of the month. At 5:00 GMT on Wednesday, January 13, the moon will officially reach its new moon phase. The two objects will fit together in the field of view of binoculars (red circle). In late evening on Friday, January 29, observers across the southern half of the continental USA, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America can see the waning full moon pass in front of (or occult) the bright, magnitude 3.45 star Eta Leonis (η Leo). Mars can be seen for more than 7 hours after sunset and during the late evening/early night. A Halloween Blue Moon. On Monday, January 11, Mercury's orbital motion (red curve) will lift the planet a thumb's width to the lower left (or 1.5 degrees to the celestial south) of bright Jupiter – with dimmer Saturn two fingers widths to their lower right (celestial west). ... east after dark this month and next. The ingress and egress times vary by location on Earth, so use a planetarium app like Starry Night to look up the times for your location. You may need binoculars. During January, Venus will remain visible as a very bright, magnitude -3.9 object sitting low over the southeastern horizon before sunrise. Bright star next to the Moon: Both Venus and Mars are visible right now (Image: STELLARIUM) Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! During January the blue-green planet will be conveniently positioned for observing after dusk—when Uranus will be at its maximum elevation, more than halfway up the southern sky—until an hour after midnight. For reference, the prominent crater Tycho is located due south of the Straight Wall. From January 9 to 12, Mercury will climb past bright Jupiter and rather faint Saturn. Visibility improves as the sunlight fades. The January full moon will occur at 2:16 p.m. EST (or 19:16 GMT) on Thursday, January 28. As such, there is limited time on how much longer Mars will be visible with the naked eye, but tonight it will show itself in all its glory. Two planets will come close to the moon this Thursday and Friday after dark, according to NASA . All three objects will fit within the field of view of binoculars (red circle). You can try to see the planet grouping again on Tuesday, when Mercury will be to Jupiter's upper left. Beta The Interactive Night Sky Map simulates the sky above New York on a date of your choice. To see the Red Planet, simply look at the waxing Moon. Mercury will become easier to see just before it sets at 6:18 p.m., and then the moon will drop below the horizon at 6:35 p.m. On Thursday, January 14, the distant, blue-green planet Uranus will temporarily cease its motion through the distant stars of southwestern Aries—completing a westward retrograde loop that began in mid-August (red path with labelled dates:times). At about 8:30 p.m. local time on mid-January evenings, the Pleiades open star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45 is positioned high in the southern sky. Use it to locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and track their movements across the sky. To the naked eye, only six of the sister stars are usually apparent; their parents Atlas and Pleione are huddled together at the east end of the grouping. The dimmest object visible in the night sky under perfectly dark conditions is about magnitude 6.5. What is the bright star next to the Moon? When new, the moon is traveling between Earth and the Sun. Saturn is just 7 degrees from the Sun in the sky, so it is difficult or impossible to see it. At first quarter, the moon always rises around noon and sets around midnight, so it is also visible in the afternoon daytime sky. On Sunday, January 5, the Earth will reach perihelion, its minimum distance from the sun for the year. They are indeed related – recently born of the same primordial gas cloud. According to Thrillist, the nearly full moon and Mars will appear together in close proximity for the second time this month on the nights of Oct. 28 and 29, and they’ll be visible together until approximately 5 a.m. local time. The Moon will reach its high point for the night at 10:59 p.m. with Pollux about 8 degrees to the upper left. Despite its deceptive look, the bright light is not a star but the Red Planet Mars. There was a problem. Thank you for signing up to Space. Monthly skywatching information is provided to Space.com by Chris Vaughan of Starry Night Education, the leader in space science curriculum solutions. Saturday, January 2—Earth at Perihelion (at 14:00 GMT) On Sunday, January 5, the Earth will reach … Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more! Mercury will continue to move past Jupiter and Saturn on Sunday, January 10. Over the same time period, Mercury will decrease in brightness. Bright star near the Moon: The bright light is actually the planet Venus (Image: STELLARIUM) The moon will be positioned a fist's diameter to the upper left (or 10 degrees to the celestial southeast) of Jupiter, with dimmer Mercury midway between them. The planet appears as a bright star to the unaided eye. Following its December, 2020 solar conjunction, Mercury will return to view in the southwestern evening sky after the first week of January. At that time Earth will sit 91.399 million miles (147.093 million km) from our star—or 1.67% closer than our mean distance of 1.0 Astronomical Units. A small bright white light was to the right of the moon in the cold night sky on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The loop will continue through its April 4 opposition, and into late April. In Miami, the bottom, lit limb of the moon will cover the star at 10:09 p.m. EST. How large are the planets and what is their order from the Sun? Tonight the Moon is in dim Capricornus. The rest of its home constellation Taurus, the Bull sits below the cluster. You will receive a verification email shortly. But to fully enjoy the heavens — especially a meteor shower, the constellations, or to see the amazing swath across the sky that represents our view toward the center of the Milky Way Galaxy — rural areas are best for night sky viewing. However, it's unsafe to look at the sun without protective eyewear. Planet is is the bright star that is 1.7° to the upper left of the lunar orb. Since sunlight can only reach the far side of the moon, and the moon is in the same region of the sky as the sun, the moon becomes completely hidden from view for about a day. The Waxing Gibbous Moon rose in the eastern skies tonight, charting a path that will carry it west. At third, or last, quarter the moon is illuminated on its western side, towards the pre-dawn Sun.