The Scorpion starts the evening at 8:45 PM, near its best position of the year, with its tail curving down and left to the southern horizon, then curling back up to the stinger on the very end of its tail. Just right of due south, the star on the very end of the tail is Shaula, coming from the Arabic meaning “raised tail”.
The Big Dipper has settled into the northwest skies, about half way up from the horizon at 8:45 this evening. Use the handle of the Big Dipper to “arc” westward to Arcturus, a brilliant orange-white star almost the same height, but in the west-southwest. Arcturus is the brightest star in the skies this month.
Evenings continue to arrive a minute or two earlier each day, which means between 8:15 and 8:30 PM, low in the south-southwest, you can watch a wonderfully close encounter develop between the First Quarter Moon and the bright, red star Antares. They are so close, in fact, that the Moon passes right in front of Antares, just as it gets ready to set near 10:45 PM EDT.