Tonight’s nearly Full Moon rises in the southeast, positioned directly opposite the Sun. This means the Moon rises close to sunset, and is also opposite where we see the Sun in summer, following a path similar to the winter sun, very low over the southern horizon through the night. The Full “Buck” Moon occurs tomorrow morning at 7:39 AM.
The Dog Days of summer traditionally start today. The term goes back to Roman times, and doesn’t concern the family pet, but the celestial “dog” in the skies. The Dog Days come when the Sun is closest to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, knick-named the “Dog Star”. We see this star in the winter as the nose of the Great Dog, companion to Orion.
The evening twilight finds our two neighboring planets, the brilliant Venus and the fading Mars lowering a bit more each night. Tonight you find Venus before 9 o’clock, about one quarter of the way up. Mars joins by 9:30, to the upper left of Venus, while farther to the upper left, the star Regulus marks the front shoulder of Leo, the Lion.