The Milky Way arches high across the eastern skies in the evening, extending down to the north, where it appears dimmer, and toward the south, glowing noticeably brighter, home to the center of our Galaxy. The Milky Way swings overhead through the course of the night.

As Venus continues to settle lower, it becomes your reference point as a very slender Moon joins it, well to the left. But just to the Moon’s lower left, a tiny spark of light appears very close to 9 o’clock, the sizzling hot planet Mercury. July never offers a great view of Mercury, always very low. A pair of binoculars or a spotting scope will help.

On this day in 1969, millions of people on the Earth watched as one man, Neil Armstrong, became the first person to visit the Moon, the first of six successful missions to the Moon. You’ll see the Moon this evening as a slender Crescent, low in the west-northwest, with our future mission target to its left, the planet Mars.