October offers our best view of a bright but rarely noticed star in the south. Look low in the south-southeast near 8:00 PM for a rather bright star, known to astronomers as Fomalhaut, reaching due south near 10:50 PM. The name originates from Arabic for the “mouth of the fish”, part of the constellation, the Southern Fish.
Just as the clock strikes midnight, a Last Quarter Moon arrives in the northeast, just to the right of a pair of stars, known as the Twins of Gemini. Although the arrangement varies from month to month, the Moon makes it a monthly habit to visit the Twins, part of the Moon’s cycle through all the constellations of the Zodiac, or “signs” of the horoscope.
Over the next few mornings, the pre-dawn skies host a conjunction of Leo, the Lion’s brightest star, Regulus, one third of the way up in the east-southeast by 6 o’clock, joined by the far-brighter Venus to its lower right. A waning Crescent Moon shines high above them tomorrow morning, settling just to their left by Monday morning.