The brilliant bluish-white star Vega, appearing one quarter of the way above the northwest horizon as darkness settled in by 5:30 PM, does an interesting thing for the next month or so. It will set tonight about 8:15 PM far to the north. But it will rise again 5 hours later at 1:10 AM, climbing into the northeast.
While Orion’s Belt stands out as it rises higher into the southeast during the evenings, more impressive might be the stars themselves. Each of these stars is a stellar powerhouse, the two outer stars more than 100 thousand times brighter than our Sun, and the middle star perhaps 500 thousand times brighter!
Due east at 8:10 this evening, about half-way up from the horizon, the twin stars of Gemini mark the heads of Castor, above, and Pollux, below. The twins have a rich collection of mythology, often as sons of Leda, but having different fathers – Zeus and Tyndareus. Strange? Well, just remember it’s a myth.