At 9 o’clock this evening, due south and two-thirds above the southern horizon, a tiny patch of starlight sits between the stars called the Twins of Gemini toward the south-southwest, and the bluish-white star marking the heart of Leo the Lion, Regulus. This faint, fuzzy group appears like a tiny swarm of bees, giving it the name, the Beehive Cluster.

The line of Orion’s Belt stars, extended to the right, points to the red star Aldebaran, the red eye of Taurus, the Bull.  Aldebaran is 9th brightest star we can see, relatively nearby at a distance of 65 light years.  It is a Red Giant star, more than 40 times the diameter of our Sun, giving it a large surface to send out great quantities of light.

Just after midnight, a waning Gibbous Moon climbs into the southeast, followed quickly by the red star Antares, the “heart” of the Scorpion. Through the wee hours of the morning, the pair slides low through the southern skies, cresting due south at 4:40 AM, only a quarter of the way above the horizon, fading as twilight brightens by 6 o’clock.