The two brightest stars in our summer skies – Arcturus, high in the south, and Vega, high in the east – guide you to a much fainter star group, Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. Look one third of the way from Arcturus toward Vega, and you will see a faint semi-circle of stars, with a brighter one in the middle. This is Gemma, the jewel in the crown.

Just after midnight, the moon will rise in the east-southeast as a waning gibbous. Hot on its trail will be the planet Saturn, rising just to the left of the moon a few minutes later. Through the predawn hours, Saturn will give the appearance of gaining on the moon, but won’t quite succeed, before the rising sun causes the disappearance of both.

Early sunrises mean you’ll have to be up quite early to see the planets, all of them in the morning skies. Around 3:30 AM you can catch Mars rising just north of east. With a flat horizon you might also be able to discern Jupiter rising in the same spot about 45 minutes later, as the morning twilight gathers.