Spring is here! Which means Arcturus shines brightly in the east. The Big Dipper, high in the northeast, points its handle toward it.
Arcturus shines brightly in the east these evenings, to the left or upper left of even brighter Jupiter.
Comet 252P/LINEAR is crossing Ophiuchus very high before the first light of dawn. The Moon Friday evening forms a gently curving row with Regulus and Jupiter.
Jupiter, in Virgo, shines like a beacon in the southeast at nightfall. It's highest in the south by 11 or midnight.
As night descends, look high in the west for Pollux and Castor - the heads of the almost-upright Gemini twins form the top of the Arch of Spring asterism.
Jupiter, among the stars of Virgo, shines brightly in the southeast at dusk this week. It's highest in the south by 11 or midnight daylight saving time.
The last-quarter Moon shines above Capricornus before dawn's first light. These evenings, the long, dim sea serpent Hydra snakes across the southern sky.
In addition to three comets now in binocular view, Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest. Also look for summer star Vega in the northeast soon after dark.
Looking west in twilight, use the thin crescent Moon as your guidepost to Mercury. And have you tried yet for Comet 252P/LINEAR?
This Friday, look lower right of the waxing gibbous Moon for the ever-changing Saturn-Mars-Antares triangle. Full Moon on Wednesday night.
Summer is on the decline, temperatures notwithstanding: when darkness falls, Cassiopeia has now risen as high in the northeast as the Big Dipper has sunk in the northwest.
Venus-Jupiter conjunction on Saturday: about 20 minutes after sunset, look above the western horizon, left of where the Sun went down. Bring binoculars.
The crescent Moon poses with Jupiter low in the west in twilight Friday. Early next week, Mars passes 0.9° beneath Delta Scorpii, the brightest star in the head of Scorpius.
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. Have you ever tried to catch Sirius rising? It rises between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., depending on where you live.
Have you ever watched a Sirius-rise? Watch for Sirius to come up about two fists at arm's length below Orion's Belt, around 8 p.m. local time.
Friday evening, the first-quarter Moon shines under the left side of the Great Square of Pegasus. Can you see the Moon moving with respect to this line as the hours go by?
Friday and Saturday evenings, the thickening crescent Moon poses with bright Venus in the southwest at dusk. Wednesday marks the year's earliest sunset.
After dark you'll find the Pleiades high in the east, with Aldebaran and the Hyades below them. Far below these, Orion is beginning to clear the horizon.
The Christmas Moon, a day past full, hangs in Gemini. Look for Castor and Pollux to its left. High above shines the constellation Auriga.
Can you spot the fingernail-thin crescent Moon in twilight Friday night? It's less than two days old as seen after sunset from North America.
The Summer Triangle remains in the western sky these cold evenings. Its brightest star is Vega; look above for Deneb and farther to Vega's left is Altair.
The Moon, just a day before full, occults Aldebaran Monday night for nearly everyone in North America. And watch for the Geminid meteor shower!
See a full Moon on Friday and, for most of the Americas, catch a very deep penumbral eclipse of the Moon that happens around sunset or in early evening.
The biggest well-known star pattern is the Winter Hexagon, marked by the stars Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Castor, Beta Aurigae, Capella, Aldebaran, and Rigel.
After dinnertime at this time of year, five carnivore constellations are rising upright in a ragged row. Orion stands highest in early evening.