Rising in the east-southeast as twilight yields to darkness, a steely-blue star rises in the east-southeast, the brightest star in Virgo, the Virgin, Spica. One way to find it is to follow the “arc” of the Big Dipper’s handle, high in the northeast, down and right to the bright, pale orange star “Arc”-turus. Then continue to the lower right, and “spike” to Spica.
As the last of the twilight fades after 8:30, look higher into the southeastern skies, where the celestial Lion, Leo, appears to have swallowed the waxing Gibbous Moon, progressing to due south, about two thirds of the way above the horizon, at 10 o’clock. Leo’s brightest star, Regulus is well right of the Moon tonight, subdued by the moonlight.
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.