The Big Dipper looks like a question mark in the northeast. After months of asking “when is Spring?”, follow this question mark’s curve to find a star that announces Spring to our skies. Rising near 8:00 PM this evening, the bright star Arcturus comes up in the east-northeast, arriving each March in the evenings.

Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of Pluto. Clyde Tombaugh was examining pictures taken through the telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona in January, 1930, over a period of days. One of the “stars” in the image moved while the stars remained in place, revealing the frozen world for the first time.

The Vernal or Spring Equinox marks the calendar arrival of Spring late this evening at 11:06 PM EDT, when the Sun is positioned directly above the Earth’s equator. Although the word equinox means “equal night”, the atmosphere bends the sun’s light, shifting it slightly higher, adding several minutes to the daylight.