High in the south this evening, as twilight fades after 8:30 PM, you’ll find the faint constellation Cancer, the Crab. While we associate Cancer the Crab with summer, due to its astrological connections, April is a wonderful time to see it. Look between the Twin stars of Gemini, and the star Regulus in Leo the Lion, for a faint, upside-down “Y” figure.

A truly “once-in-a-lifetime” event takes place this afternoon through northern NY, VT, and NH, a total eclipse of the Sun. The Moon’s shadow races 2,300 mph through areas north of Middlebury, Barre, Barnet, Lancaster, and Milan, with totality lasting 1 to 3 minutes, longest along the eclipse’s center line from St. Albans to Highgate Falls, and then Ayer’s Cliff, QE. The next eclipse in these areas won’t happen until 2381.

The steely blue star rising in the north-northeast, low but due northeast at 10:20 PM, is Vega, from the German “Wega”, and from the Arabic “Al Wika”, the “swooping or diving eagle”. In modern times it is the brightest star in Lyra, the Lyre, a harp-like instrument, home to the meteor showers over the next few nights.