Ever-brilliant Venus is in the early-evening sky, putting on quite a show even though it is fairly low on the horizon.

For the next several days try to view the southwest horizon starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. Venus will be 10 degrees above the horizon and seven degrees to the right (north) of Antares at the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion.

Seven degrees above Antares is Saturn. Thursday, Oct. 20, Venus, Antares, and Saturn form a right-angle triangle with Antares at the right angle.

If you look at the southwest sky every evening around 6:30 p.m., you will notice Venus moving toward the east. By Tuesday night, Venus will be only 3.2 degrees from Antares. On Oct. 27, Venus will be between Antares and Saturn forming a nearly straight line with them.

All the planets constantly change position with respect to the starry background. This results from the planets revolving around the sun and being relatively close to us, while the nearest star is more than four light-years away. From our perspective the stars appear “fixed,” while the planets are “wanderers” in the sky. The two closest planets to the sun, Mercury and Venus in that order, move the fastest, respectively, and we can easily see a change in their position from day to day.