October 2018

All five naked eye planets are in the evening sky when October starts. Mercury, as usual, is hard to see though. The best views will be from around 25° south where the planet appears to be directly above the setting sun. At barely a 7.5° elongation, even at the latitude of South Africa and Paraguay, […]

September 2018

Four planets are visible in our evening sky this month. From west to east they are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. Mercury is a morning object when the month starts.     Venus is just below Spica at the start of the month. After reigning as a bright evening object for months, it is heading […]

August 2018

Four planets are easily visible as darkness sets in after sunset when August begins. See ever bright Venus in the west, Jupiter a little past the meridian west of the diamond of Libra, Saturn rather far east above the teapot of Sagittarius, and Mars rising. If you’re viewing from the southern hemisphere, it’s five planets […]

July 2018

In the middle of July, you’ll be able to see all five naked eye planets and the crescent moon in the sky at the same time. Get ready for this wondrous view by identifying and watching them as the month starts.     Mercury is below Venus in the west after sunset. Jupiter is near […]

June 2018

Venus continues its reign of the evening sky in the heart of Gemini at the start of June. Or should be way between the hearts of Gemini? Barely a week into the new month, the planet is heading out of Gemini and on the way to Cancer where it passes through the Beehive cluster on […]

May 2018

Except for when the moon is in the neighborhood, Venus is the brightest object in the western sky in the evenings this month. You’ll see it first. As darkness sets in, look for Sirius, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Capella, and Procyon too. Venus starts May a little right and above the Hyades. It passes near a star […]

April 2018

    Planet watching is best in the morning this month. Jupiter, actually rising in late evening, remains in the diamond of Libra moving retrograde (westward) toward Zubenelgenubi. If you’ve been watching Mars since the beginning of the year, you’ve seen it pass right on by Jupiter in January and Antares in February. In March, […]

March 2018

March is the second month this year with two full moons. The moon is almost full as the month begins. As it rises in the east just after sunset, be sure to turn around and see Venus and Mercury together setting in the west. They are below the eastern fish of Pisces which you’ll find […]

February 2018

The month starts with a just-past-full moon and ends with a just-before-full moon making February a month without a full moon. A lunar month is 29.5 days. Because February has only 28 days (or occasionally 29), the entire month often passes without all four moon phases represented. In 2018, it just so happens that the […]

January 2018

The new month and the new year start with a full moon. The moon will be full again at month’s end. By some definitions, that is a blue moon. And by those definitions, there will be a second blue moon in 2018, as March also has a full moon at its beginning and end.   […]