Once the night is fully dark, spot the equilateral Winter Triangle in the southeast. Sirius is its brightest and lowest star. Betelgeuse stands above Sirius by about two fists at arm's length. To the left of their midpoint is Procyon. Compare their colors!
Right after dark, face east and look very high. The bright star there is Capella, the Goat Star. To the right of it, by a couple of finger-widths at arm's length, is a small, narrow triangle of 3rd- and 4th-magnitude stars known as "the Kids." Though they're not exactly eye-grabbing, they form a never-forgotten asterism with Capella.
Bright Capella high overhead, and equally bright Rigel in Orion's foot, have almost the same right ascension. This means they cross your sky’s meridian at almost exactly the same time. So whenever Capella passes the zenith, Rigel marks true south, and vice versa. That happens around 9 or 10 p.m. now.
The recent total solar eclipse visible from Chile and Argentina had some surprises: Photos revealed a total solar eclipse and comets not seen by eye.
Twilight challenge: the planet-conjunction finale! Jupiter and Saturn are becoming ever harder to pick up low in bright twilight, but bring those binoculars on Saturday Jan. 9th. Because then they'll be three! Mercury is emerging to join them. It will pass by them for a couple more days.
We explore deep-sky riches within a stone's throw of Capella, one of the season's brightest stars.
Tour 15 of the sky's brightest stars all in one night on this New Year's Eve! This interactive Worldwide Telescope video will show you the way.
Jupiter and Saturn remain close together low in the southwest in twilight, though they're widening every day. They'll sink away into the sunset after New Year's.
Jupiter and Saturn fashion the Great Conjunction of 2020 when they pair up on December 21st, the winter solstice. That evening they'll be closest in nearly 400 years.