Tonight the gibbous moon appears under the bright planet Jupiter. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Taurus. They rise in the east together at about 10 p.m. and together will command the sky through the night.
Jupiter is the brightest planet in our evening sky. Astronomers estimate that Jupiter is 425 million miles away. By the end of October, Jupiter will be 398 million miles away. It will continue to get closer in the weeks ahead with opposition coming in the first week of December.
Venus is the brightest planet in our sky but can be seen only in the early morning. Venus rises in the east at about 4 a.m. and hangs high over the eastern sky.
The waning crescent moon appears near Venus on Wednesday morning. To see the two, an observer has to rise either early Wednesday morning or stay up late. The two celestial objects are in the zodiacal constellation Leo, appearing in the eastern sky before dawn.
Venus appears within close proximity of Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation. The two are close tonight, under 3 degrees apart. Venus will separate from the bright star in the mornings ahead.
Mars has lost its luster. The planet appears low in the southern sky, near the bright star Antares. Mars is slipping away. The Earth is quite distant from Mars, which explains the drop in brightness. Mars is 184 million miles away, twice as far away as our sun.