Looking due east at 6:30 this evening, Leo the Lion begins to climb above the horizon, with the Twins of Gemini much higher. About halfway between them, search for a faint sprinkling of stars, called the “Beehive”, a swarm of stars in the faint constellation Cancer, the Crab. Looking slightly away from them will make it easier to see them.

This evening offers an opportunity to bid Saturn farewell to the evening skies until later in the year. In the twilight from 5:45 to 6 PM, the waxing Crescent Moon appears low in the west-southwest. Now look to its lower right, just above a relatively low, level view of the horizon, where a tiny spark of light is all that remains of Saturn. It passes behind the Sun at the end of the month.

Due south this evening at 9:05 PM EST is the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, the “nose” of Canis Major, the Great Dog. The path of all stars and planets creates an arc, with its highest point due south, placing Sirius in its best viewing position. The name Sirius comes from the Arabic word meaning “blazing one”.