For all those who missed Orion in the evening sky during the summer and fall, it is great to know that Orion is back! It once more can be clearly seen in the sky, rising in the west in the evening and traveling the skies, reaching mid-heaven at midnight and disappearing in the east at dawn.
Just above Orion, the Taurus constellation can be seen, with its unique shape of the Taurus’ head, as an A laying on its side. And above Taurus are the tiny, vivid and wonderful little stars of the Pleiades.
Already by early evening one can see to the east of Taurus are Castor and Pollux– the two brothers and the brightest stars of the Gemini constellation.
And further to the east, a one would expect – the Cancer constellation rises in the east at around 18:00 these days. The Cancer, naturally, is hardly seen in the skies. It is a vague and shy constellation. But these days Jupiter is residing there – and big, bright Jupiter can be easily seen, shining with all its might and glory although it is retrograding…
Venus and Mercury, at dusk, in the west:
If one looks to the west just at dusk, one is up for a real celestial-treat!
These days one can clearly see the rare conjunction of Mercury and Venus. These two planets can be seen to the west, often so bright that they appear even before the actual sunset!
Mercury and Venus are the two planets closest to the Sun, and for that reason they will always appear at its appearance/disappearance – either a bit before sunset to the west, or before sunrise to the east.
Venus is a star we are used to see in the evening skies, shining in the west, but actually we haven’t seen her there for a while. Now Venus is back and will appear in the evenings, bit by bit for a longer period of time, till her retrogression in July.
But seeing Mercury is a real treat!
The planet Mercury is so close to the Sun it rarely is visible to us. It can only be seen in the evening’s skies when it gets as far away as it can from the Sun, and this happens every three months or so, for a very short while, just before it begins its retrogression (which will begin on January 21t this year).
The marvelous wonder of seeing them both, Venus and Mercury, in such proximity and with such clarity, is a real celebration!!
Don’t miss the sight, go out and enjoy the skies!