At 11 o’clock this evening, climbing into the east and northeast, a preview of coming summer attractions has returned to the skies. Bright, almost half way up in the skies, is Vega, while just rising in the east-northeast shines Altair. The third in this trio of stars, Deneb, is one quarter of the way above the northeast horizon.

The planet Mars spends the first few evenings of June amid the faint cluster of stars called “the Beehive”, because it does appear like a swarm of celestial bees. Of course Mars is so bright it overwhelms them, but a pair of binoculars brings them into view, better by 9:45 as the sky darkens, but lowering through the rest of the evening.

While Mars visits the Beehive cluster of stars to the upper left of Venus, Venus has formed an alignment with the pair of stars to its right, the Twins of Gemini, Pollux on the left, and Castor on the right. Venus is just starting slip lower, but the Twins are sinking more quickly, the result of the Earth’s orbit constantly shifting our nightly view.