Very high in the southern skies on the next clear evening, as darkness becomes complete after 10:15 PM, a bright, pale orange beacon can easily be found, the red-giant star Arcturus. This “red” giant shines brighter and hotter than most, making its color more yellow-ish orange. Arcturus is the brightest star we see through the Summer and early Fall.
With twilight subsiding in the west and northwest after 9 o’clock, look in the west before 9 o’clock, where a slender Crescent Moon and the dazzling Venus emerge between one quarter and one third of the way up above the horizon, gradually settling lower through the evening. Above Venus shine the twin stars of Gemini.
Can you find Venus in the daytime? It is possible when Venus is near its greatest separation from the Sun, which happens in just a few weeks. Today has an added advantage – the Crescent Moon is about the width of two fists, at arm’s length, to the left of the Moon. They are due south within a few minutes of noon, more that two-thirds of the way up.