While the Jupiter-Saturn-Venus line keeps shrinking, all kinds of deep-sky sights, naked-eye to telescopic, show themselves on these moonless evenings.
Orion now rises in the east around 8 p.m. Will Betelgeuse or Rigel be the first of his bright stars to come up? That depends on your latitude; Los Angeles and Atlanta are balance points. The Pleiades and Aldebaran watch this scene from high above.
The moonless evenings this week offer three bright planets and deep-sky riches as deep as you can go. Meanwhile, the waning crescent Moon meets Mercury and Spica low in bright dawn.
Venus shines in twilight; watch Antares and the head of Scorpius slide toward it. Check out Jupiter, and hop from Saturn to two binocular double stars. The evenings are dark for deep-sky observing; the waning Moon crosses Leo before dawn.
Jupiter and Saturn shine in the south-southeast at dusk, Venus low in the southwest. They're all close to the ecliptic, so a straight line from Jupiter through Saturn points almost exactly to Venus. Don't believe it? Stretch a string tightly between your hands wide apart, hold it up to the three planets, and see for yourself!
The Moon waxes from first quarter to gibbous in the evening sky, offering some of its most interesting telescopic aspects. Venus grows more insistent in the western twilight. And Jupiter and especially Saturn pose well in the southeast to south by late evening.
It's Perseid meteor week! Venus lights the western twilight. Saturn and Jupiter are up in the southeast by mid-twilight and await your telescope later at night. And explore the deep-sky glories of Sagittarius before moonlight returns.
Saturn is at opposition this week, and Jupiter is soon to follow. Will your scope show the Seeliger effect of Saturn's opposition rings? Venus continues to haunt the low west in twilight. And in the south, Sagittarius starts nudging Scorpius aside.
Saturn and Jupiter shine in the southeast by late evening. The bright Moon passes them on the 24th through 26th. Venus continues to sit patiently, changelessly, low in the west in twilight. Bootes and the Big Dipper mark the western sky after dark; the Summer Triangle emblazons the east.