The early arrivals of winter’s bright stars are found in the east. Look in the east-northeast at 8:15 to find the twins stars of Gemini easing up into the sky. Castor leads the way, followed by his brother Pollux. Although they are considered twins in mythology, these two stars are not related, or close to one another, and Pollux is noticeably brighter.
The mid-winter stars rise earlier each evening, as the Earth makes its appointed journey around the Sun. By 9 o’clock, the familiar stars of Orion are in the east, and are joined by the bright star Procyon, just rising at 9:00 PM EST. This is the dominant star in the constellation Canis Minor, the Little Dog.
On Thanksgiving, as we celebrate the harvest and the riches of the soil, look along the northern horizon, where a low and level view shows the Big Dipper. In the British Isles, it is imagined as a plough, with the bowl of the Dipper forming the blade, almost appearing to turn over the ground along the northern horizon.