Very high in the north, nearly overhead, the seven stars of the Big Dipper, while close to the northern horizon, with a low and level view, you find the stars of the Queen, Cassiopeia, in the form of a “W”-shaped pattern. The Big Dipper and the Queen are always opposite each other, with the North Star directly between them. Six months later, in November, they switch positions.

On this date in 1910, the Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet, an event that spawned any number of reactions, from taking “Comet Pills” to ward off the noxious vapors, to predictions of the end of the world. The dangers were greatly exaggerated, with no measurable effects.

As the Moon reaches its New phase, permitting dark evening skies, it’s a good time to locate the famous but rather faint constellation, Hercules. Looking due east near 11:00 PM, and on a line between Arcturus high in the southeast and Vega in the east, you may find the “keystone” figure of stars that marks the ancient Greek hero.