VERY CAREFUL NOT TO OBSERVE SUN DIRECTLY!
INSTANT BLINDNESS CAN OCCUR!!!
Instruments can explode!!! Cease viewing before Sun actually rises if you're using binoculars or telescope!!!
July 14th, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft, about 3 billion miles from Earth, imaged Pluto close up for first time ever, flying by about 7000 miles away. Note ice field in shape of large heart, see other images at the Mission site (link on homepage of this site).
PLANET and SKY INFORMATION: (updated May 16th, 2016)
Planet Parade: Mercury is low in predawn eastern sky for another week or two. Venus will reappear in a few weeks in western post sunset sky. Mars shines brilliantly in Scorpius, rising around midnight, rivaling the red supergiant star, Antares (whose name means rival of Mars!). Yellowish Saturn is close by. Jupiter hangs high in the evening sky, then sets by late evening, brightest dot by far high overhead initially as darkness falls.
No major known sky events but there can always be a comet brightening.
Next major meteor shower is the Perseids in August.
Start planning to observe the total eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21st, 2017, over a year away but hotels along centerline are already totally booked! The Moon's shadow comes ashore near Lincoln City and rapidly heads east through Madras enroute the east coast, over two minutes of totality visible if you're in the right spot, lots of info already online, start with Fred Espanek's excellent site.
The golden star, Arcturus dominates the SE evening sky, until the Summer Triangle takes over late at night. Blue white Spica is further down toward the SE from Arcturus, with reddish Antares rising around midnight along with the two planets currently within the boundaries of Scorpius. The Summer Milky Way rises late at night, with Pegasus and Andromeda eventually visible into morning hours.
If you go to a dark sky observing site, even with unaided eyes you can see objects (stars) thousands of light years away, and if you know where to look, perhaps even a galaxy millions of light years away! You're doing archeology of deep space since you're seeing these objects as they were many years ago ("lookback time") due to the time necessary for their light (photons) to travel the vast distances from them to you! Moral of the story: Our youngsters need to invent starships that can travel at "warp speed" (many times faster than the speed of light) if we are ever to visit even the closest stars in our own Galaxy much less other Galaxies!
Consider who may be looking back at us from all those zillions of planets out there orbiting probably almost every star!