With an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, and a clear sky, you should see the thin crescent in the west an hour (or less) after the sun goes down on Tuesday evening … later after sunset as the days pass.
On some moonless night, look for the Orion Nebula below Orion’s Belt. Your eye sees it as a tiny, hazy spot. But it’s a vast region of star formation.
UPDATE February 8, 2016. The new moon comes to pass on February 8, 2016, at which juncture the moon transitions from the morning to evening sky. Many people around the world witnessed the moon sweeping by all five visible (naked-eye) planets from late January until February 7, 2016. But you still can see all these planets together in the morning sky for at least another week. Read more inside…
Is Gemini “your” constellation, and you want to know how to see it in the night sky? This post can help. It offers several ways to find the constellation Gemini, plus gives you some of the sky lore and mythology associated with this constellation. Follow the links inside for mini-lessons on the constellation Gemini.
Two meek animals seem to cower at the feet of Orion the Hunter: Lepus the Hare and Columba the Dove. There are hints in early writings that stargazers knew the name Columba, and identified a Dove here, as long as 17 centuries ago.
The red planet Mars swings to west quadrature on February 7, 2016. That means that – if you had a bird’s-eye view of the solar system – you’d see the sun, Earth and Mars making a right (90-degree) angle in space, with Earth at the vertex of this angle. It means the best time to see Mars in 2016 – in fact, the best time in about two years – is just ahead! Follow the links inside to learn more.
Face the northwestern horizon as darkness falls on winter evenings to find the Double Cluster in the constellation Perseus. Look above the M- or W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. You may see the Double Cluster as a faint smudge of light, if your sky is dark enough. Binoculars will reveal a double smudge – really, two clusters of stars. Each cluster contains 300 to 400 stars at over 7,000 light-years away.
Tonight, look for ruddy-hued Betelgeuse, one of the sky’s most famous stars. Kids especially like Betelgeuse, because its name sounds so much like beetle juice. The movie by that same name perpetuated this pronunciation. But astronomers pronounce it differently. We say BET-el-jews.
You can see all 5 bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – together in the sky before dawn, through mid-February.