Greetings, watchers of the Indigo Night. This will be another rewarding week for naked eye viewing of the heavens in mid-northern latitudes. The sky will grow dark a few minutes before 9 p.m. (slightly earlier each evening) over the next few days, and as we get into the later part of the week, the by now familiar pairing of Saturn and Mars in Ophiuchus will be joined by the waxing moon on its way to first quarter Friday. Wednesday through Friday, the two bright planets and the moon will be in close conjunction – an arrangement often referred to as a 'syzygy.'
Many readers may know that this term has a strict sense and a looser sense, and it is the latter that we use to describe this close grouping of three non-stellar bodies. Bright star Antares – the 'Rival of Mars' – will shine just below the lunar-planetary syzygy, a celestial punctuation mark to the formation's elegant progress.