In the early evening, before the Moon rises after 7:30, four brilliant stars form a diamond-shaped figure halfway up in the south-southeast early this evening. At the bottom is Sirius, the very brightest star, while the orange-hued Betelgeuse shines at the top. The bluish-white Rigel sparkles on the right, with Procyon on the left.

Overnight tonight, the planet Mercury passes directly behind the Sun, a position called Superior Conjunction. A conjunction refers to any two celestial objects that pass within close proximity from our viewpoint, though, in reality, they can be millions of miles apart. Mercury re-emerges in the evenings during the middle and end of March.

Saturn experiences its conjunction with the Sun, passing directly behind the Sun from our viewpoint, which happens every 378 days, just slightly longer than one year. The difference comes from Saturn’s very slow orbit of 29 and a half years, causing it to shift its position a small amount each year. It takes the Earth 13 days to “catch up” to Saturn’s same position each year.