Spring is here! Which means Arcturus shines brightly in the east. The Big Dipper, high in the northeast, points its handle toward it.
After dark, Leo walks horizontally across the meridian high in the south. His brightest star is Regulus, the bottom star of Leo's Sickle.
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.
Friday, April 20 • This evening the dark limb of the crescent Moon will occult 4th-magnitude multiple star Nu Geminorum, in the feet of Gemini, for parts of the southern U.S. and points south. For rough time estimates at your location, interpolate between the time predictions in the April Sky & Telescope, page 48. Saturday,…
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.
Keep an eye on the changing pattern of Venus with Aldebaran and the Pleiades, in the west as twilight fades.
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.
The two Dog Stars stand vertically aligned around the end of twilight. Look southwest. Brilliant Sirius in Canis Major is below; Procyon in Canis Minor is high above.
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?
The Perseid meteor shower should be at its maximum late Friday and Saturday nights, August 11-12 and 12-13.
This Friday, look lower right of the waxing gibbous Moon for the ever-changing Saturn-Mars-Antares triangle. Full Moon on Wednesday night.
The Milky Way runs from Sagittarius in the south, up and left across Aquila and the Summer Triangle very high in the east, and down through Cassiopeia to Perseus low in the north-northeast.
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.
Look low in the west in twilight for the waxing crescent Moon. It forms a triangle with Jupiter and Spica below it.
Venus-Jupiter conjunction on Saturday: about 20 minutes after sunset, look above the western horizon, left of where the Sun went down. Bring binoculars.
Saturn glows in the south at nightfall. Fiery Antares, less bright, twinkles 13° to Saturn's lower right.
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.
As the Summer Triangle sinks in the west, Altair is the first of its stars to go. Start by spotting bright Vega in the northwest at nightfall. The brightest star above it is Deneb. Altair is farther to Vega's lower left.
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?