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Superb at the moment for observing the planets with Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all visible to the naked eye at the moment. Jupiter and Saturn make their closest approach to each other, visually, as seen from Earth in the week before Christmas since 1623 and Mars makes its closest orbital approach to Earth at the start of October.  Venus is a pre dawn object.

Venus and the Moon yesterday morning


My dad took these footage

Mars, quite a bit of atmospheric distortion



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Its such a shame its been such a long period of dull weather and poor seeing. Jupiter and Saturn are positioned poorly low on the horizon at the moment so most of the time it has been a struggle to get much better than 150x in a telescope. Mars is higher in the sky and better for this, though atmospheric conditions haven't even been great for that. Uranus isn't too far away from Mars either, so with binoculars or better it can be found using Mars and nearby stars as a reference.

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Speaking of which, seeing is excellent tonight. There's a good view of Saturn and two of its Moons plus Jupiter and all four Galilean moons right now. It was clear at 185x and even pretty good at 266x. Might be the last night in a while that allows it.

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