The Vernal or Spring Equinox marks the calendar arrival of Spring late this evening at 11:06 PM EDT, when the Sun is positioned directly above the Earth’s equator. Although the word equinox means “equal night”, the atmosphere bends the sun’s light, shifting it slightly higher, adding several minutes to the daylight.

The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, sparkles in the south as twilight fades by 8 o’clock, sliding into the southwest through the course of the evening, one of the first stars out as twilight fades. Its brilliance is due, in part to its relative closeness, only 8.6 light years away, as well as putting out about 25 times more light than our Sun.

A large, waxing Gibbous Moon appears almost halfway up in the east-southeast as twilight gives way to the curtain of night. Looking below the Moon, you’ll find its companion for the night, the white star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, the Lion. The Moon’s glare will make it a little more challenging to find this otherwise bright star.