Sunday: Jupiter is 15 degrees above the southwestern horizon at 7:30 p.m. The planet is still located in the constellation of Sagittarius, through it looks closer to Capricornus. Jupiter moves through about one constellation per year but will remain in Sagittarius for the rest of 2020.
Monday: The International Space Station makes a long, low pass through the northern half of the sky tonight. The space station starts off 10 degrees above the western horizon at 6:05 p.m. The spacecraft slowly climbs to a height of 22 degrees above the north-northwest horizon three minutes later. At 6:11 p.m. the ISS disappears from view as it enters the Earth’s shadow.
Tuesday: This morning Mercury is visible low in the morning sky. The innermost planet is fairly bright, but it is also near the horizon. At 6:30 a.m. Mercury is 5 degrees above the east-southeast horizon, so make sure you have an unobstructed view.
Wednesday: The wide gibbous moon is near Mars tonight. At 8 both objects are in the south-southeastern sky with the moon about 5 degrees to the lower left of Mars.
Thursday: Looking toward the northeast, at about 7 p.m., there is a bright star 25 degrees above the horizon. This star is known as Capella and is the sixth-brightest star in the sky. In Roman mythology, this star represented the goat Amalthea that nourished the god Jupiter, also known as Zeus to the Greeks. Zeus accidentally broke off the goat’s horn, which then was transformed into the Cornucopia, or horn of plenty.
Friday: In the morning, Venus is the most prominent object in the sky. At 6 a.m. the planet is about 15 degrees above the horizon in the east-southeast. Venus is currently moving closer to the Sun, so it appears to be quickly moving through the constellations.
Saturday: Around 8 p.m., Albireo is 50 degrees above the western horizon and is located at the tip of the beak of Cygnus the Swan. Cygnus appears to fly through the sky, body parallel to the eastern horizon with two stars marking its outstretched wings. The brightest star in the constellation is Deneb at the swan’s tail. The second brightest star is Albireo at the swan’s beak. Though it is possible to split this double star with binoculars, a telescope will provide a much higher success rate. Viewed with either, the brighter star appears golden-to-orange and the other star appears blue.
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