Tonight and tomorrow night, the west-northwest skies present this year’s best views of the challenging planet Mercury. Starting at 7:30 PM, just right of due west, Mercury’s bright spark emerges from the twilight, then reaches its best display from 7:45 to 8:00 PM. After that, it settles lower, setting by 8:45 PM.

Tonight’s skies are lit up by the Full “Sap” Moon, sometimes called the Full “Worm” Moon, not actually Full until tomorrow morning at 3:00 AM EDT. It won’t be long before we start seeing worms emerging from the thawing ground, but the Sap Moon seems to fit better, with steam rolling out of the sugar houses after a mild afternoon.

Leo the Lion climbs higher into the evening skies, with its bright star, Regulus, the “heart” of Leo, nearly half way up in the east-southeast by 8:30 PM. Regulus appears to be younger than it really is. Astronomers discovered that a companion dwarf star supplies it with fresh material – a celestial face-lift of sorts.