The eastern skies tomorrow morning at 4:15 AM EDT, offer a preview of coming attractions, as the winter “champion”, Orion, climbs higher into the east-southeast, following the bright red star Aldebaran, the red “eye” of Taurus, the Bull. You’ll see this same scene on a clear December evening, including the brilliant Jupiter, very high in the southeast.
The Scorpion starts the evening at 8:45 PM, near its best position of the year, with its tail curving down and left to the southern horizon, then curling back up to the stinger on the very end of its tail. Just right of due south, the star on the very end of the tail is Shaula, coming from the Arabic meaning “raised tail”.
The Big Dipper has settled into the northwest skies, about half way up from the horizon at 8:45 this evening. Use the handle of the Big Dipper to “arc” westward to Arcturus, a brilliant orange-white star almost the same height, but in the west-southwest. Arcturus is the brightest star in the skies this month.