Comet ZTF is at its best this week — but every night moonlight encroaches on the scene until a later and later hour. Along the way, the Moon occults Mars for the southern U.S. and again forms isosceles triangles with naked-eyestars.
Saturn starts the week well above bright Venus in twilight. Watch them close in on each other toward their conjunction on the 22nd. Jupiter and fading Mars shine high. Sirius sparkles below Orion, and binocular Comet ZTF enters its best three weeks.
Venus creeps up, Saturn sinks down; in three weeks the two shall meet. The Moon meets Mars Tuesday. Orion comes into his own to rule the winter, and Sirius emerges below him.
Mars is closest to Earth this week, closer and brighter than we'll see it again until 2033. By late evening it's high overhead in excellent telescopic view.
The Moon shines in the east with ever-brightening Mars, then it wanes down into the early morning hours to leave the evenings dark for deep-sky observing. Jupiter glares on high. Vega and its binary accompaniments await you in the west.
The Summer Triangle Effect, a double shadow on Jupiter, the waxing Moon photobombs the solar system's two giants, an Algol dip — plan your skywatching week.