Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
Tonight’s chart shows the east-southeastern sky not long after the sky gets dark, as viewed from mid-northern latitudes. The brightest star of nighttime – Sirius – shows up close to the horizon in early evening, rising upward as evening deepens into night. Sirius is found by drawing a line through the three stars of Orion’s Belt.
When an overwhelmingly bright star like Sirius hovers near the horizon, it doesn’t just twinkle. It scintillates: sparkles in red and blue.
Almost opposite of Sirius at nightfall, the star Vega shines over your northwest horizon. Be sure to catch this bright star at dusk or nightfall, because it sets shortly after dark. Vega marks the general direction toward which our sun is traveling through space, called the “solar apex,” whereas Sirius highlights the general direction from which the sun is traveling.
If you miss Vega tonight, look for it to reappear in the northeastern sky in the wee hours before sunrise.
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