Leo the Lion climbs higher into the evening skies, with its bright star, Regulus, the “heart” of Leo, nearly half way up in the east-southeast by 8:30 PM. Regulus appears to be younger than it really is. A companion dwarf star appears to be supplying it with new material – a celestial face-lift of sorts.
You can watch the waning Gibbous Moon lift into the east this evening just before 8:30, followed an hour later by a fairly bright, bluish-white star called Spica, the only bright star in Virgo. Through the night they progress west, cresting due south near 2 AM, and settling into the southwest near 5:30 as the blush of dawn appears in the east.
Looking to the west-northwest this evening near 7:00 PM, a vertical string of three moderately bright stars marks the constellation Andromeda. From the middle star, look for two fainter stars to its right, and then a smudge of light. This is the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest neighboring galaxy, 2.5 million light years away.