The eastern skies have gone to the dogs! Procyon, the star marking the Little Dog, is one of Orion’s hunting dogs, and rises at 9:50 PM. But the Great Dog comes into view a bit more than a half-hour later, as the star Sirius – the “Dog star” and the brightest star in the night skies – rises at 10:20 PM EST.

Although not as eye-catching as the Moon’s encounter with Venus on Thursday morning, early risers still enjoy a fine meeting of a thin Crescent Moon, to the left of the bright star Spica, the only bright star in the constellation Virgo, the Virgin. They start low in the east-southeast near 5:45 AM, fading after 6 o’clock in the brightening twilight.

This month’s second minor meteor shower finds its peak activity over the next few nights, though, like the southern Taurid Meteor Shower early last week, the Northern Taurids tonight are a long-lasting shower, active through October and November. The numbers will be fairly low, 5 to 10 per hour, but the rocky fragments are larger than average, creating a few larger, brighter fireballs.