Shortly after sunset there is an excellent parade of planets and stars easily visible as the glare of dusk fades, starting with brilliant Venus in the west, and then in succession from west to south are Regulus, Mars, Saturn and Spica. These bright objects show the line of the Ecliptic.
At the end of this week there is a total solar eclipse (unfortunately not visiblefrom the San Francisco Bay Area). The eclipse comes at the middle of an Eclipse Season and as such, the Moon follows a descending path below the Ecliptic in the days that follow the eclipse, in particular from the 12th to the 17th of July. As it moves from day to day, it swoops just below the Ecliptic and makes a pleasant arc across the southern sky below Venus and Regulus, then Mars, then Saturn and then Spica.
And in addition, we are just coming into a period of time when fast-moving Venus has close encounters with the other planets and stars along the Ecliptic, starting with a close encounter of Regulus on the 9th of July. More drama to come in the next few weeks -- stay tuned!