At sunset, blue-green Uranus follows the bright moon higher in the east. Uranus reaches opposition to the sun at 3 a.m. The outer planet rises in the southeast at dusk and sets in the west at dawn. Uranus, left of the Circlet in Pisces, Fish, is brightest and closest to Earth this week. By nightfall, dim blue Neptune, in Aquarius, follows Capricornus, Sea Goat, across the south.
Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. Grus, Crane, stretches its starry neck up toward Fomalhaut. In the southwest, the tilted Sagittarian Teapot pours onto the stinger tail of huge Scorpius slinking along the horizon. Ruddy Antares (red heart) beats in the Scorpions torso. Silver Saturn hovers above Spica, in Virgo, low in the west. Eastbound Mars lies in front of Scorpius. They set early. Hercules leads Vega and the vast Summer Triangle into the northwest. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle.
The Summer Milky Way (River of Stars) arches from the Teapot to the Triangle, visible from a dark rural site. Bright Arcturus, Herdsman, sparkles in the northwest. Mid-evening, Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus, Winged Horse, higher in the east. The Royal Family reigns in the north. Late evening, Capella appears in the northeast. The Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead bright Jupiter near Aldebaran in the Hyades cluster in Taurus higher in the east-northeast. The Harvest Moon is full at 11:19 p.m.
By nightfall the bright moon rises left of Uranus.
By 6 a.m., brilliant Venus glows 2 degrees above Regulus in Leo, Lion, in the east. Bright Capella, in Auriga, guides the Charioteer into the north. The dim Beehive cluster follows the Gemini Twins higher in the northeast. Westbound Seven Sisters lead Taurus, Bull, and Jupiter across the Zenith. Orion, Hunter, strides toward the Zenith, followed by Procyon, Little Dog in the east. Bright blue Sirius sparkles in Orions Big Dog in the southeast. The Royal Family turns toward the northwest. Aries follows Pegasus westward.
About 5:30 a.m., aim binoculars to the east. Brilliant Venus, Morning Star, dances with Regulus 1/2 degree apart.
Before dawn, the waning moon floats below Jupiter. The Hyades and Pleiades clusters shimmer below the moon.