PLANETS TO VIEW: Venus is well up in the southwest after dusk, with Jupiter nearly south and high. Mars will be in the east by 9 p.m., and Saturn will be in the east by 1 a.m. Mercury is out of sight for now.
THE MOON becomes full Tuesday and will be extremely bright and high every night this week, making dark-sky stargazing difficult.
THIS WEEK: Despite the bright moonlight, there will be some interesting things to spot in the sky, especially tonight.
Look just below and right of the gibbous moon, and you’ll spot a very bright star. This is Procyon, the brighter half of the two-star constellation Canis Minor (the Pup or Little Dog).
Procyon forms an interesting quadrangle with Sirius (below and right), Betelgeuse (right and nearly even) and Rigel (beyond Betelgeuse and Sirius). This is the tightest concentration of stars of zero magnitude or brighter anywhere in the sky in either hemisphere.
Procyon is a yellow star like the sun, only larger. Like Sirius, it is a relative neighbor at about 11 light years away (Sirius is 8 light years away). Betelgeuse and Rigel are 300 and 600 light years off respectively.