Leo the Lion climbs higher into the evening skies, with its bright star, Regulus, the “heart” of Leo, nearly half way up in the east-southeast by 8:30 PM. Regulus appears to be younger than it really is. Astronomers discovered that a companion dwarf star supplies it with fresh material – a celestial face-lift of sorts.

You can watch the waning Gibbous Moon lift into the east this evening just before 9 o’clock, led by a fairly bright, bluish-white star called Spica, the only bright star in Virgo. Through the night they progress higher through the southeast, cresting due south near 2 AM, and settling into the southwest near 5:30 as the blush of dawn appears in the east.

At 9 o’clock this evening, due south and two-thirds above the southern horizon, a tiny patch of starlight sits between the stars called the Twins of Gemini toward the south-southwest, and the bluish-white star marking the heart of Leo the Lion, Regulus. This faint, fuzzy group appears like a tiny swarm of bees, giving it the name, the Beehive Cluster.