A growing, bright waxing Gibbous Moon starts the evening about halfway up in the east, climbing even higher through the darkening evening skies. With the darkness, a pair of stars are revealed to be the Moon’s companions tonight, the Twins of Gemini. Just above and left of the Moon shines Pollux, while his twin brother, Castor, looks on from above.

Venus struggles to remain in view for the morning coffee crew, but tomorrow morning it would be worth taking one last look. You might use binoculars, or a spotting scope to find Mars, just to the lower right of Venus, during a narrow window from 6 o’clock until 6:10, quite low above a level, low southeast horizon.

George Washington’s actual birthday (not the holiday) would have seen the same stars in the same places, though the planets would have been different. Thanks to modern computer calculations, we know that Venus and Saturn were amazingly close in the southwest after sunset, and that Jupiter rose as they set in the east. The Moon was a thin Crescent in the morning twilight.