It’s been a frigid, snowy, and overcast start to 2014 here in Chicago (Polar Vortex!), so conditions haven’t been great for astronomy. Nonetheless, I wanted to point out some bright objects you can currently see in the evening sky.
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, shines brightly all night long. Jupiter was at its brightest earlier this month, when the Earth moved directly between the Sun and Jupiter. Look to the east in the early evening, and you can’t miss it; it’s the brightest object in the sky. It rises higher in the sky as the night progresses.
Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is not too far from Jupiter and is also visible almost all night long. Look to the right and below Jupiter. If you recognize the constellation Orion, follow its belt downward and to the left, and you’ll find Sirius.