Q. What was that star next to the moon on Tuesday night?
A. You were seeing the planet Saturn rise in the east just above (and “left of”) the moon. Saturn, now opposite from Venus in our sky, rises higher above the eastern horizon each night. Its rings now appear razor thin, as we view them edge-on from Earth, and are now near the thinnest we can see them in the evening for years to come. On March 8 Saturn was at opposition, when opposite from the sun in the sky, close to its nearest to Earth, and rising at sunset. Saturn is still near its closest to Earth (and will be for several weeks), so March and April will be prime months to view it. To the unaided eye Saturn appears as a cream-white, bright starlike object well below the star pattern called the “sickle’”of Leo, the Lion.