The Big Dipper is high overhead in May. The middle star of the three stars on the handle is known as a “double star”. The brighter star is joined by a fainter companion, known to the Arabs as the “horse and rider”, and was used as an eye test….try it!
Gemini, the Twins, are standing on the horizon between west and northwest this evening, Castor on the right and Pollux on the left. It was near the feet of Castor, the name of the brother as well as the star, that in 1781 Sir William Herschel discovered a new planet – the one we now call Uranus.
Low above the northern horizon near 10 o’clock this evening, can you make out the letter “W” formed by five medium-bright stars? This forms part of the throne of Cassiopeia, the Queen. To her upper right, still low, you might see a house-shaped pattern – a box with a triangle on top. This is the Queen’s husband, King Cepheus.