As the bright winter stars of Orion retire in the west, two lonely bright stars rise toward their summer prominence in the skies in the east. Looking high in the northeast to find the Big Dipper, and follow the “arc” of its handle lower and to the right, locating the star Arcturus. Then continue the line farther right, where you can “spy” the star Spica, a blue-white beauty.

Looking east-southeast this evening, a waxing Gibbous Moon appears next to the head of Virgo. Between 8:15 and 8:45 PM, as we transition from twilight to dark, you’ll see Virgo’s brightest star, Spica, well to the lower left, about one quarter of the way up in the southeast.

The predicted peak of the annual Lyrids Meteor Shower in the hours after midnight tonight, as they Earth passes through the debris of Comet Thatcher, last seen in 1861, but not due to return until 2283. However, any increasing frequency of visible meteors will meet with an increasingly bright moon, now a waxing gibbous, but just 2 days short of being full.