Today is the “seventh day of the seventh Moon” – moons being months – and is the traditional day for cultures in the Far East to celebrate the story of the Goddess of Weaving and the Handsome Farmer, more familiar to us as the Summer Triangle, directly overhead shortly after 1 AM EDT.
Tonight near midnight, the bluish-white star Vega is nearly overhead, while the brilliant pale-orange Arcturus is about half way up from the horizon in the west. Between, about two thirds of the way from Arcturus up to Vega, a bow-tie shaped pattern of stars can be found, outlining the figure of Hercules.
Very low in the west, as the twilight fades from 9:45 through 10:15, you’ll see Venus, brilliant but low above the horizon. Look to Venus’s upper left, where a pair of contrasting objects appear – the reddish planet Mars just to the upper right of the white star Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, the Lion. Mars slips a little higher than Regulus over the next few nights.