In these times of reduced social interaction and spending more time with our immediate families, we have a great opportunity, if the weather cooperates, to go out in our backyard and admire the nighttime skies.
At this time, Venus is the very bright light in the west. The brightest star in the south is Sirius in the constellation Canis Major. Higher and a little bit west of Sirius is the constellation Orion, the hunter. The key part to look for is his belt, three bright stars in a straight line. Orion is roughly hourglass shaped.
Go to heavens-above.com, enter Houston as your location, and ask for a sky chart for the time and date that you will be observing. After 8 p.m. would work. Find a dark, comfortable place and enjoy the sky with the chart as your guide.
As a precaution, the observatory is currently closed due to COVID-19.