In a recent comment an older post someone was asking about how to find what planets are up and where to look for them. Remember not to fall for the Mars Hoax, but there are cool planets and things to see in the night sky right now.
Sky & Telescope Magazine's This Week's Sky at a Glance provides a great summary of cool stuff to look for each week. Another option is to get a desktop planetarium program for your computer or hand-held device. Stellarium is a great free open source program for your Mac or PC.
Another great option is to head out to a star party and look through some telescopes. It is the International Year of Astronomy, so you owe it to yourself to go out and do some stargazing. Some of the options for the San Diego area are described in an article in today's San Diego Union Tribune. This is a busy time for star parties and events. I have a few of my favorites listed below.
The Temecula Valley Astronomers are putting on a star party in Wildomar's Marna O'Brien Park on Saturday August 15.
Explore the Stars is August 14 & 15.
The biggest event of them all is Julian Starfest which takes place August 21 - 23 with a free public star party on August 22nd. Visit their website for more information.
I will be appearing at Stories and Stars at the Western Center for Archeology & Paleontology in Hemet, CA on August 29th.
If you are wanting to visit Palomar Observatory in the evening, we have two programs where that it is occasionally possible. One through the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center and the other through the Friends of Palomar Observatory.