The Milky Way Galaxy is a fine sight, but it is not the only galaxy – or large group of stars and star systems – we can see. At 7:00 PM this evening, looking due west, about two-thirds of the way up from the horizon, another galaxy can be seen as a faint smudge of light, the Andromeda Galaxy, over 2.5 million light years in the distance.
Near the top of the sky, slightly south in the evenings at 8:00 PM, a group of stars called the Seven Sisters can be found, though seeing them requires a little trick. Look slightly away from them and they will appear brighter – your eye is designed to be more sensitive to light away from the center of your vision.
This evening hosts a thin, waxing Crescent Moon well below Saturn in the southwest, lowering toward the horizon as twilight yields to the dark, mid-winter skies. The Moon sets before 7 o’clock, and Saturn about an hour later. Look for a slightly larger Moon to the left of Saturn tomorrow evening.