Venus will appear perched above Aldebaran, the orange lead star of the winter constellation Taurus, the Bull. Both planet and star will appear about 4 degrees apart, meaning they will both easily be covered by your fist held out at arm’s length.
Your best chance to witness this event will be to use binoculars to sweep the low horizon: Venus will guide you to the red giant star, some 65 light-years away. While Taurus may be difficult to view this time of the year because it sets so soon after the sun does, from December through February the mythical bull rides near the overhead nighttime sky.
Pluto at its best. On Friday, July 4, Pluto reaches opposition, meaning it sits opposite in the sky from the sun and is visible all night long.
For sky-watchers this means that the dwarf planet officially is at its brightest for 2014, but because it shines at a measly 14.1 magnitude, Pluto is really only a target for medium and large backyard telescopes, ones with at least 8- to 12-inch mirrors, from a dark location.
For those up for the hunt, Pluto will appear less than 0.1 degree east of the much brighter 7th-magnitude star BB Sagittarii.
Here is a detailed finder’s chart from Astronomy.com to help track down this most challenging planet.
Moon and Mars. After nightfall on Saturday, July 5, look for the half-lit moon to have a superclose conjunction with the red planet. From North America they will appear separated by only 0.2 degrees.
Meanwhile, lucky observers in South America will see the moon actually hide the planet, and folks in Hawaii, using binoculars, can watch the occultation of Mars during daytime. Check out the exact timing for various locations here.
During the encounter, Ceres will appear to glide just ten arc-minutes from 4 Vesta in the constellation Virgo, equal to about a third the width of the moon.
Check out this detailed finder chart for both asteroids, which you can use with binoculars and telescopes.
source: nationalgeographic.com Posted by Andrew Fazekas