Harry Potter in the sky? Looking in the southeast at 8:30 this evening we see the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, rising. It is known as the Dog Star, and in the Harry Potter books, his god-father Sirius turns into a dog. Likewise, Sirius’s sister is Bellatrix, the star that marks the left shoulder of Orion, called the “female warrior”, and in the books she indeed fights!

Venus continues to be majestic in the morning skies, rising before 3:30 AM, and seen along side the bright star Spica to its right. Although Spica shines as the 11th brightest star in the heavens, it appears 100 times fainter than Venus. Through the month, Venus loses its height, rising an hour later, and only climbing to one quarter of the way up at month’s end.

Just as the waning Gibbous Moon is rising after 9 o’clock, the planet Jupiter reaches its prime position, high in the south. From this lofty perch, Jupiter appears to command the rising Orion in the southeast, as well as the setting star Vega in the northwest. Jupiter maintains this position in the evenings through the month, though reaching it 4 minutes early each night, close to 7:30 by the end of the month.