Have you seen Venus yet this autumn? If not, then this evening is a great time to start.Although Venus has been visible in the evening twilight for several months now, it's been pretty low by the time the sky gets dark. But the situation has been improving rapidly since the beginning of November. By mid-month, Venus is about 15° above the southwestern horizon a half hour after sunset for people at mid-northern latitudes, making it quite easy to see. And it's still above the horizon an hour after that, when the sky is fully dark.
But the evening of Monday, November 17th, is special for observers in the America. That's when Venus passes just a few arcminutes away from Lambda Sagittarii, also known as Kaus Borealis, the star at the top of the Sagittarius "Teapot." Venus is 600 times brighter than Lambda, so the star will be hidden in the planet's glare if you try to view it without optical aid. But any telescope, or even steadily supported binoculars, should show Lambda shining off Venus's edge. If you have a telescope, note also that Venus is distinctly off-round. It's now in its gibbous phase, 74% illuminated.
Click here for more information on observing Venus.