If the skies stay clear tonight will be perfect to take out the telescope and check out the planets, stars, and the moon!
The brightest object that will be visible tonight will be the Moon in its Waxing Gibbous phase. This phase provides excellent viewing of the large craters that are scattered all over the surface. The Moon rose earlier in the day at about 2:00 p.m. but does not set until about 12:30 a.m.
The next brightest object in the sky will actually be Mars. Most of the time Mars is outshone by Jupiter but due to the close proximity to Earth, Mars will be shining brightly. On July 31 Mars will be the closest it's been to Earth since 2003. Mars will rise at 9:08 p.m. and will set at 6:03 a.m.
If you take a close look at Jupiter tonight you will be able to see 4 or 5 of its 53 moons. If you have a telescope you might be able to distinguish some of Jupiter's belt like clouds. Jupiter rose at 2:33 p.m. and will set at 12:51 a.m.
Saturn will also be visible tonight. If you have a telescope you have a better chance of seeing Saturn's rings. Saturn rose at 6:37 p.m. and will set at 3:52 a.m.