The early morning twilight offers a challening view of a thin, waning Crescent Moon, and the relatively faint Mars, quite low in the east-southeast from 4:30 AM until about 4:50 AM. Mars spends the next several months in the mornings, but by the end of the year is much brighter while it works into the evening skies through next winter.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower enjoys a broad peak over the next few nights, with no interference from the Moon. Best seen after midnight, with up to 15 meteors or “shooting stars” per hour, these cosmic pebbles that burn up upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere are actually the debris from Halley’s Comet, not returning until 2061.

A very large diamond of bright objects should get your attention in the west on the next clear evening. Lowest, though quite bright as twilight fades after 9 o’clock, Orion’s shoulder star Betelgeuse is due west, flanked to the upper right by the brilliant Capella, and the upper left by Procyon. High above shine the Twins of Gemini.