High in the northeast this evening, a waxing Gibbous Moon appears in the “clutches” of Leo, the Lion. Between 8:15 and 8:45 PM, as we transition from twilight to dark, you’ll see Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, well below the Moon, while the curve of the stars that make his head and mane curve halfway around the Moon.

Over the next 10 days to 2 weeks, Mercury makes its best evening display of the year. Our closest planet to the Sun never appears too far from the Sun, so at its best, scan the west-northwest horizon from 7:50 to 8:10 PM for a bright spark in the twilight, and about 10 minutes later than that in one week from now.

The increasing light of the Moon leaves the brighter stars to admire, including Arcturus, emerging from the twilight, due east, about one third of the way up from the horizon at 9:30 this evening. Its pale orange color indicates it is a red giant star, a preview of what our Sun will do some 4 to 5 billion years from now.