When Columbus landed in the Bahamas on this date in 1492, he used the North Star to determine his location. However, he mistakenly used the star Alderamin in Cepheus, and thought he landed near what is now Boston. Either tropical breezes, or an able assistant, helped him to correct his error.

The Milky Way becomes more prominent through the Fall, stretching from northeast to southwest across the top of the sky. It is our view of the Milky Way Galaxy from the inside, looking out. The Sun is embedded in a great disc of stars, and we are looking sideways through the thicker portion of the disc.

The most distant object visible to human eyes without the help of binoculars or telescopes is the Andromeda Galaxy, more than 2.4 million light years away. You’ll find it very high in the east about 10:15 PM EDT, just above the middle star in the constellation Andromeda, the Princess.