The Summer Triangle has survived into Winter! Its three bright stars still offer an excellent view, one third to half way up in the west, with the star nearest the horizon being Altair, setting tonight at 7:45 PM EST, Vega much brighter, close to the same height but much farther right, and Deneb, fainter, and well above Vega.

One of the brightest stars in the sky, and part of the Summer Triangle, Vega, is flickering in the northwest by dark. Vega gets its name from the German “Wega”, which came from “Al Waki”, Arabic for “the falling or swooping eagle”. It will set tonight at 9:30 PM EST.

Harry Potter in the sky? Looking in the southeast at 8:30 this evening we see the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, rising. It is known as the Dog Star, and in the Harry Potter books, his god-father Sirius turns into a dog. Likewise, Sirius’s sister is Bellatrix, the star that marks the left shoulder of Orion, called the “female warrior”, and in the books she indeed fights!