As the Moon reaches its New phase, permitting dark evening skies, it’s a good time to locate the famous but rather faint constellation, Hercules. Looking due east near 11:00 PM, and on a line between Arcturus high in the southeast and Vega in the east, you may find the “keystone” figure of stars that marks the ancient Greek hero.

While the King and the Queen, Cepheus and Cassiopeia languish near the northern horizon, Draco, the Dragon has slithered higher into the northeast. Though his stars aren’t overly bright, look for his tail starting between the Big and Little Dippers, then curving around the Little Dipper to the right and down.

Very high in the southern skies on the next clear evening, as darkness becomes complete after 10:15 PM, a bright, pale orange beacon can easily be found, the red-giant star Arcturus. This “red” giant shines brighter and hotter than most, making its color more yellow-ish orange. Arcturus is the brightest star we see through the Summer and early Fall.