Lots to see! At sunset, too close to the sun, is Mars, west. Southwest is bright Venus, brightest thing in that area. Halfway between Venus and the sun is the fainter Mercury, like a faint star. The 72% illuminated moon is in the southeast. To its right is the yellow Saturn, and further east is the bright Jupiter. These are the naked-eye planets.

With binoculars, there are many details to see. Jupiter’s four large moons, in a straight line close to the planet. Use a tripod to stabilize the binoculars to see better. Most binoculars are not powerful enough to see Saturn’s rings, but the planet looks like a yellow football. And the Earth’s moon. Craters, crater rays, and many maria (dark areas) become visible.

The Insperity Observatory is currently closed for public nights due to the resurgence of COVID-19. We hope you will join us when COVID diminishes. humbleisd.net/observatory

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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