The last quarter moon will interfere with observing the Orionid meteor shower on Tuesday morning, but there may be a few to be seen before moonrise. Meteors, often referred to as shooting stars, will appear to come from the rising constellation Orion, which is low in the southeast late at night.
The bright planet Venus hangs low in the southwestern sky tonight. Venus has appeared nightly in the southwest for weeks now but the show improves. Venus is moving farther from the glare of the setting sun and is easier to spot in darker skies.
The performance of the crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter drew a lot of attention on Monday night. The three celestial objects formed a perfect triangle, close together, high in the western sky after sunset. Anyone outside couldn’t miss the show as it lasted until all three set in the west. Venus is brighter than Jupiter.
The two brightest planets in our evening sky, are now appearing together. For those with a good view of the western sky, Venus and Jupiter are a pretty sight and it gets better in the nights ahead. By the end of the month, Venus and Jupiter will be the talk of the town, appearing as a tight pair.
The next full moon is Thursday, it is called the Beaver Moon. In the week ahead, the gibbous moon dominates the night sky, moving through the zodiacal constellation Pisces, one of the largest, and ending up full in Aries, one of the smallest.
For those up really late tonight there is an astronomical event worth noting. Tonight’s last quarter moon appears close to the ringed-planet Saturn. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. Saturn is the brightest “star” in the area and has a yellowish tint. Find the moon and the solar system’s second largest planet is nearby.