Mars is visible in the evening sky right now–look South after sunset, almost straight overhead. The bright star Sirius will be low in the East (opposite of where the Sun set). Contrast the color of Sirius (blue) and Mars (red).

Straight up from Sirius, you’ll see the three stars in a line that make up Orion’s Belt. You should be able to make out the rest of the constellation using the skymap below.

Following a line between Sirius and Orion’s Belt, you’ll come to the bright red star Aldebaran. And to the right of Aldebaran, you’ll come back to Mars.

Here is a list of things you should be able to see with just ordinary binoculars (7 x 35).

You can use this diagram as a guide. It can be downloaded at skymaps.com. The orientation for the map is set for South, with the middle of the circle representing straight overhead. Turn the map upside down when looking North.

The larger the blob on the map, the brighter the object will appear in the sky–note the magnitude legend at the bottom right of the map. Contrary to intuition, the higher the magnitude number, the dimmer the object appears.

ISS (International Space Station passes)

Will the ISS make a pass over Richmond tonight?