A waxing Gibbous Moon can be found this afternoon near 5:45 PM, about one third of the way up in the southeast. By the time the sun sets, the Moon will progress to due south at 8:45 PM, heading for the southwest, where a bright star emerges below the Moon, the steely-blue Spica, the brightest star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo, the Virgin.
Venus, Mars, and the star Reguluar form a slightly crooked line in the western twilight for the next few nights. Venus is easy to pickout, being almost 200 times brighter than Mars, located on the right of the trio. Mars has fallen below the brightness of Regulus as well, about 40 percent less bright.
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.