In the evening sky tonight, look lower left of the waxing gibbous Moon for Aldebaran, and upper left of the Moon for the Pleiades.
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.
Astronomy is an outdoor nature hobby. For an easy constellation guide to the evening sky, use the map in the center of Sky & Telescope magazine.
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.
Now the waxing crescent Moon is easier to see in the west-southwest after sunset. Its curved side points the way down toward Venus.
After dinnertime at this time of year, five carnivore constellations are rising upright in a ragged row. Orion stands highest in early evening.
On Friday the waxing gibbous Moon shines below Castor and Pollux. On Tuesday the just-past-full Moon shines with Jupiter after they both rise at end of twilight.
The Winter Hexagon fills the sky toward the east and south these evenings. Start with brilliant Sirius at its bottom. Going clockwise from there, march up through Procyon, Pollux and Castor, Menkalinan and Capella on high, down to Aldebaran, then to Rigel in Orion's foot, and back to Sirius.
After dinnertime this time of year, four carnivore constellations stand in a row from the northeast to south: Ursa Major, Leo, Hydra, and Canis Major.
The first-quarter Moon on Friday is high in the south at sunset. After dark it balances on the dim head of Cetus. Spot Pleiades to its upper left.
See all five naked-eye planets at dawn, though Mercury is getting low. On Saturday morning, the crescent Moon, Venus, and Mercury form a triangle low in the southeast.
Sirius the Dog Star blazes in the southeast after dinnertime, the brightest star of Canis Major. Orion stands high to its upper right.
Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) remains visible very high in the southeast before the first light of dawn. For more to see, look to Orion in prime view.
Friday, January 12 • Sirius, the Dog Star, rises in the east-southeast around the end of twilight now, if you're near latitude 40° north (New York, Denver, Madrid, Athens). From such latitudes, Procyon — left of Sirius, by 2½ fists at arm's length — precedes it up; "Procyon" is from the ancient Greek for "before…
On Saturday, the waning gibbous Moon and Regulus rise around 8 p.m. They'll part ways through the night as the Moon moves east along its orbit.
The Moon shines in dim Pisces upper left of the Great Square of Pegasus. Does the half-lit Moon look just a trace bigger than usual? It's about at perigee.
Sirius twinkles brightly below Orion in the southeast. Around 8 p.m. Sirius shines straight below Betelgeuse in Orion's shoulder.
After dinnertime this week, the Winter Triangle glitters in the southeast. Sirius is its lowest and brightest star, Betelgeuse above, and to their left Procyon.
See all five planets at dawn! The nearly-full Moon shines in Gemini Friday evening — with Castor and Pollux to its left and Procyon to its lower right.
The Moon, two days past first quarter, shines to the right of Aldebaran and lower left of the Pleiades. The Great Square of Pegasus is sinking in the west.
After dark the Great Square of Pegasus is sinking down in the west, to the right of Venus and Mars. The Big Dipper is creeping up in the north-northeast.
The last-quarter Moon rises around 1 a.m. Sunday night, in company with Mars. By the dawn of Monday the 1st they're high in the south.