Although Venus and Mars have pulled closer to each other through the month, they won’t ever quite meet. Tonight is as close as they appear, as Venus has lowered into the west on its way to passing between the Earth and the Sun on August 13th. Meanwhile, we are racing away from Mars, eventually positioned on the opposite side of the Sun in November.

The waxing Gibbous Moon makes a return appearance near one of the brighter stars along the zodiac constellations, the red star Antares. As the twilight diminishes after 9:30 PM, Antares emerges to the left of the Moon, with the pair track toward due south by 10:30 PM. These monthly encounters continue through October.

July is time to say good-bye to the classic constellation Leo, the Lion. The bright star on Leo’s shoulder, Regulus, due west at 9:30 PM EDT, settling lower as the twilight fades by 10 o’clock. All of Leo settles lower each evening, and by late in the month, drops below the horizon.