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 November 17th, 2015)
Planet Parade: Mercury is in conjunction with the Sun, will appear low in post sunset western sky over next several weeks. Lineup of three bright planets in eastern predawn sky: Jupiter rises around 200 AM, Mars at 300 AM, and brilliant Venus 400 AM, highest to lowest in eastern sky before dawn. Saturn is nearing conjunction with Sun but will be several more months before becoming readily visible in predawn eastern sky. Uranus and Neptune are easy to spot with telescope in southern evening sky if you have a chart to guide you to their locations.
The bright whitish star, Fomalhaut is the only bright star now in the southern evening sky.
The Big Dipper is now very low to the northwest in early evening. The Summer Triangle still dominates the sky overhead, featuring bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair, but is drifting to the west by later evening.
The great square of Pegasus begins to dominate the higher eastern sky by mid evening, with the large "W" of Cassiopeia to the left of Pegasus.
Note the different colors of stars, why do they appear different? (Think of electric stove burner element...yes, their temperature...reddish stars have outer temperatures vicinity of 5000 degrees, bluer stars in neighborhood of 20,000 degrees...why aren't there greenish stars?)
The bright stars Capella, in constellation Auriga to NE, and Aldebaran in Taurus, to the East, are visible just after dark, and Orion rises by mid evening. Later in the evening, the Winter cast of characters: Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini, and friends are populating the entire sky. By pre-dawn, the Spring constellations appear in the eastern sky, led by Leo.
Watch for news about Comet Catalina, which may brighten over next several months.