Mars and Saturn shine from the southwestern sky this evening as seen from the Chicago area. (Click the image to see it larger.)
On July 12, Mars passed Spica as it moved eastward compared to the starry background. Watch it approach Saturn during the next few weeks.
Saturn is between the stars Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali. It slowly moves eastward compared to the celestial backdrop.
Each night the stars and planets move westward from our planet’s rotation, causing the day-night cycle. The planets, though, move in their orbits around the sun. They move eastward in their orbits and sometimes appear to move westward compared to the stars. The movements of Mercury, Venus and Mars are quick and easily observed across several nights. Each night notice Mars’ increasing separation with Spica and Mars catches the slower moving Saturn.