Written by Bob King
No matter when you look up, there are wonderful things to see. This summer and fall, the planets Jupiter and Saturn rule the evening sky and will be sure to get your attention, especially when the moon comes by to brighten up the scene. Mercury puts in two nice appearances – at dusk in June and at dawn in August. If you’ve never seen this forever-in-the-twilight planet, the time is ripe. Venus returns to view at dusk in November and has a pretty pairing with Jupiter just before Thanksgiving.
When the moon is out of the sky from July through September, make a special trip to the countryside to appreciate the incredible summer Milky Way. Bring binoculars. They’ll help you pick out the clusters and nebulae that dot that smoky band. The year’s two best meteor showers – the Perseids and Geminids – will still happen on schedule even if compromised by bright moonlight.
Barring a bright comet discovery the biggest astronomical event of 2019 will be the November transit of Mercury, when the planet passes in front of the sun and looks like a little black dot. As always, keep an eye on the sky – you never know when a bright meteor or aurora may turn up. Happy skywatching!
For the latest astro news, go to Astro Bob (astrobob.areavoices.com)