Looking to the west-northwest this evening near 7:00 PM, a vertical string of three moderately bright stars marks the constellation Andromeda. From the middle star, look for two fainter stars to its right, and then a smudge of light. This is the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest neighboring galaxy, 2.5 million light years away.

Orion is now slipping slowly into the southwest, found about one third of the way up from the horizon around 8:30 PM EST this evening. The bright star below his three belt stars, Rigel, remains distinct. A stellar powerhouse, Rigel generates 120,000 times more light than our Sun, but at a distance of nearly 900 light years.

Daylight Saving Time begins today, as we move the clocks ahead one hour, making the sunrise and sunset an hour later. There is actually a connection to astronomy, as time used to be “local”, based on the Sun at noon. That changed in the 1800s, when trains needed a “standard” time system.