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.

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.