Late this evening, near 10:30, lowering toward the northwestern horizon shines a sparkling, flashing object, with random flares of green, or red, or blue. No, it is not a UFO, but the bright star Capella. Bright stars, when they are near the horizon, have their light bent by the atmosphere, much like light going through a crystal or prism.

The Memorial Day weekend serves as an unofficial kick-off to summer, and the stars are doing their part. One of summer’s quintessential constellations is Scorpio, the Scorpion. The star Antares, regarded as the heart of the Scorpion, is rising in the twilight, and is due south at 1:00 AM EDT.

The Big Dipper is high overhead in May. The middle star of the three stars on the handle is known as a “double star”. The brighter star is joined by a fainter companion, known to the Arabs as the “horse and rider”, and was used as an eye test….try it!