Jupiter and Saturn are both visible in the evening sky right now–look West after sunset. Jupiter will be the brighter of the two, and Saturn will be above and to the left. There are also some bright stars that will help you find your way around. Look to the West, and see if you can find the Summer Triangle, made up of Vega, Deneb and Altair, in the map below. Vega is the brightest of the three stars.

On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn, arrive at their Great Conjunction. On that date, they will be so close that a finger held up at arm’s length will cover both of them. You can view it around 5:30pm, looking West. The planets will be low on the horizon, and will only by visible for maybe an hour, before they set.

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?