Look for Venus, the Beehive and welcome a new season


If you’re out in the evenings this week, Venus will be tough to miss. It’ll shine brightly in the western sky after sunset near the constellation Cancer or the crab. On Tuesday night, Venus will put on quite the show. It passes very close to M44 otherwise known as the Beehive Cluster.

Courtesy: NASA

First studied by Galileo in 1609, the open cluster contains roughly 1000 stars and is about 600 light-years away from us. Venus will be easy to spot as it will look like the brightest star in the sky. If you’re in dark enough conditions, the Beehive Cluster can be seen with the naked eye. If you have a decent set of binoculars or a telescope, the show will be that much better.

The moon brightens to First Quarter on Wednesday morning at 6:51 a.m. If you miss it early, look for the half-moon on Wednesday night.

We welcome a new season on Thursday morning at 6:07 when the summer solstice occurs. This is when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and is directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer. It’s when summer officially starts and Thursday is the longest day, in terms of daylight, of the year.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the Moon and the largest planet in the solar system will be very close in the night sky. Look for the Moon and Jupiter in the southeast in the evenings. Above is how the two will appear on Saturday night. Happy hunting!