Any astronomers out there, amateur or otherwise? I feel really stupid asking this question — in earlier centuries, any educated person would have known the answer to this, but in our light-polluted modern era, we take too little note of the heavens — but I'm going to ask it anyway. After all, the valedictorian of my high school class used to ask the stupidest questions I ever heard — our physics teacher's jaw would actually drop with incredulity — but those of us who were too cool to ask dumb questions didn't get to be valedictorian. (My wife says her class valedictorian, her friend Mary, was the same way. And look at her today; she has a giant flat-screen HDTV and I don't.)
Where was I? Oh yes — what in the 'verse is that superbig, superbright, object in the sky at about 30 degrees elevation, a little south of west as of 8 p.m. Eastern? Is it Mars? Venus? Some other planet, that has just wandered closer than usual? (I'm thinking Mars, because it seems to have a bit more of an orangish cast than the other, far less bright, stars and planets.)
It's the biggest, brightest thing I can ever remember seeing in the sky aside from the sun and moon.
Who can tell me what it is?