Be glad our own Sun is a relatively cool, yellowish, "main sequence" star. Astronomers have observed stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy that they classify as red "super giants." It's a stage of solar evolution that our Sun might go through in its 10-billion-year lifespan. Its size could expand all the way to the orbit of Venus (engulfing and destroying Mercury and Venus) and our Earth would be toast! Not in our lifetime, probably.


Speaking of Venus, it and Jupiter are conspicuous in the pre-dawn sky, both in Taurus, and near Aldebaran, the "eye of the bull." Evening "stars" include Mars and Saturn, both in Virgo, and both near the star Spica.


Constellations easily visible in the evening include Cygnus (the swan) and the "asterism," the Northern Cross. Pegasus (the


flying horse) is now visible, as well as the Zodiacal constellations of Sagittarius (the archer), Capricorn (the goat), and Aquarius (the water carrier).


And we have a "Blue Moon" this month! A "Blue Moon" occurs when we have two full Moon phases (the Aug. 1 and 31) in one calendar month. The rather spectacular Perseid Meteor Shower occurs after midnight and to pre-dawn Saturday through Monday, unobstructed by a last quarter phase Moon that has already set. See you next month!