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Bruce McClure

See all 5 bright planets tonight

The parade of 5 bright planets visible in Earth’s sky tonight will conclude with the moon and Mercury rising as darkness ebbs into dawn Wednesday morning.

Don’t miss moon and Saturn January 24

The January 24, 2017 waning crescent moon will be very near Saturn. Look east before dawn. And don’t be surprised if you spot Mercury, too!

Moon, Antares, Saturn January 23-25

Given clear skies, it should be easy to use the waning crescent moon to locate the star Antares and planet Saturn before dawn’s first light on January 23.

Star-hop from Pegasus to Andromeda galaxy

The four stars of the Great Square of Pegasus are easy to find. Ready? Let’s star-hop!

January guide to the bright planets

In January 2017, Venus blazes in the west after sunset. Mars is fainter, and nearby. The other 3 bright planets – Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury – light up the hours before sunrise.

Star of the week: Elnath

Elnath, the 2nd-brightest star in Taurus, is the closest bright star to the galactic anticenter – the point in space directly opposite of our Milky Way’s center.

Moon, Jupiter, Spica January 18-20 before dawn

The moon is sweeping past Jupiter now, but – if you know where to look – you can find all 5 bright planets on these January 2017 nights. Charts and info here.

Hyades star cluster: Face of Taurus

The V-shaped Hyades star cluster represents the face of Taurus the Bull. The cluster is easy to spot in the evening sky in January.

Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2017

Dates of all solar and lunar eclipses this year, plus a preview of the great American total solar eclipse of 2017.

Spot elusive Mercury before dawn

On January 19, 2017, Mercury will be at greatest elongation. That means it’s now nearly at its farthest from the sun on our sky’s dome for this morning apparition. Watch for it!