Jupiter sails south
July 2006: Although the king of planets rules July evenings, the dazzling predawn spectacle of a crescent Moon passing through the Pleiades star cluster tops this month's list of celestial delights.
Like a distant lighthouse beacon, the glow of Jupiter low in the southern sky after darkness falls surely will catch your eye. Its steady, pale-peach hue stands in stark contrast to sparkling blue-white Spica to its right and twinkling rusty-orange Antares to the left. Many people will notice the bright light because it now lies in our field of view; anything higher in the sky tends to go unnoticed.