Facing South, look high, and you’ll see a bright yellowish object-that’s the plantet Jupiter. Left of Jupiter (looking East), you’ll see another bright object-the planet Mars. And below Mars, you’ll see the bright star Sirius. Compare the colors of Jupiter vs Mars.

Between Mars and Sirius, you should be able to make out the familiar form of the constellation Orion by looking for the three belt stars. To the above right of Orion, look for a V-shaped cluster-it’s call the Hyades. The bright red star in the Hyades is called Aldebaran.

There is a conjunction of Saturn and Venus on Jan. 22. Look in the direction of the setting Sun (West), just as it’s getting dark. The object very close to the brighter Venus is Saturn. If you start looking now, you’ll see them getting closer every night. Saturn is to the upper left of Venus.

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

Winter

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?