See bright star Regulus in closest proximity to Venus on Monday, July 9.
Before Regulus appears, after we first spot Venus, planet Jupiter beckons from the upper left of our field of view, 32 degrees above the south-southwest skyline. Then, Arcturus emerges above and to the right of Jupiter, forming a triangle with Jupiter and Venus. As the sky darkens and Venus loses altitude, we discover the Big Dipper above both Venus and Arcturus. The far edge of the Dipper’s bowl points to the dimmer North Star, also known as Polaris. Estimate 5 increments out from the width of the bowl to alight on Polaris. If urban pollution interferes with your view of the North Star, try binoculars.
Beyond and below Saturn, increasing in brilliance every night, Mars rises above the southeast horizon at 9:57 p.m. tonight and at 9:01 p.m. on the 22nd (later where the view is obstructed.) The exceedingly bright, red planet is not to be missed as it travels the sky all night and is visible above the southwest horizon at dawn.