As the star Arcturus climbs to one third of the way above the eastern horizon 11 o’clock this evening, look for another brilliant star to return to the skies, the bluish-white Vega, just rising in the northeast. Vega appears on any clear night of the year, but shifts into evening skies in the Spring.
Very high in the west near 8 o’clock sparkles the brilliant star Capella, the fourth brightest star that we can see. What we can’t see is that it is actually a pair of bright, giant stars, each more than twice as massive as the Sun. They orbit each other once every 104 days, no farther apart than the Sun and Venus.
A nearly Full Moon will appear late this afternoon, and edge up to about one third of the way above the eastern horizon by 7 o’clock this evening, by which time it will be dark enough to find the Moon’s companion for the night, the star Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, the Lion. The Moon’s glare will make it a little more challenging to find this otherwise bright star.