Arcturus, the brightest star in the evening skies, still close to due west, one quarter of the way up as twilight ends, setting earlier each evening, and heads below the west-northwest horizon at 9:30 PM EDT. Arcturus owes its brilliance to its relatively close position, about 37 light years away, while it sends out 170 times more light than our Sun.

October offers our best view of a bright but rarely noticed star in the south. Look low in the south-southeast near 8:00 PM for a rather bright star, known to astronomers as Fomalhaut, reaching due south near 10:50 PM. The name originates from Arabic for the “mouth of the fish”, part of the constellation, the Southern Fish.

Just as the clock strikes midnight, a Last Quarter Moon arrives in the northeast, just to the right of a pair of stars, known as the Twins of Gemini. Although the arrangement varies from month to month, the Moon makes it a monthly habit to visit the Twins, part of the Moon’s cycle through all the constellations of the Zodiac, or “signs” of the horoscope.