With Summer now officially underway, look for Leo, the Lion lowering into the west as he takes his curtain call for the season. His bright star, Regulus, due west at 10 o’clock, was associated with the Summer Solstice over 5000 years ago, when the Sun passed right over the star. This has changed as the Earth’s axis very slowly pivots.
Today is St. John’s Day – Midsummer’s Day in ancient traditions. One of the features of the summer skies is a trio of bright stars known as the Summer Triangle. Look in the east after 10 o’clock, where the brightest and highest of the three stars, Vega, is shining. Nearest the horizon is Altair, while the third star is found to the left, known as Deneb.
Saturn has made it into the evening skies – just barely! The great ringed-world rises above a perfectly level east-southeast horizon at 11:49 PM, though it won’t realistically be observed until after midnight. By the first hints of twilight tomorrow morning, Saturn climbs to one third of the way up in the south-southeast, well above a moderately bright star, Fomalhaut.