The dark skies near the New Moon reveal the splendors of the Milky Way arched over the top of the sky. Directly overhead, notice there are lighter and darker patches of light within the star fields of the Milky Way. The stars are evenly distributed, but vast regions of dust and gas block some of their light, causing the differences.

Looking low above the southern horizon at 9 o’clock, the vapors of the Milky Way seem to steam upward, a nice connection to the teapot-shaped pattern, due south, the brighter stars of Sagittarius. Although imagined as a centaur with a bow and arrow, the triangular lid above the teapot, with a handle on the left and spout on the right is easier to see.

A very challenging meeting of the extremely thin Crescent Moon, and the departing Mars, very low in the west, within a few minutes of 8:30 PM. Binoculars, and a low, level view to the west are needed to bid Mars farewell for several months. The Moon, of course, gives us a variety of views through its 29 day cycle, while Mars takes over 2 years for its viewing cycle.