Now that we're progressing into spring, we must describe the stars of spring. The zodiacal constellations consist of Libra (the scales), Virgo (the maiden), and Leo (the lion), and two of these play "host" to evening "stars."


The summer alignment of the Big Dipper's (Ursa Major, the big bear) handle, Arcturus (in Bootes, the herdsman), and Spica (in Virgo) is still conspicuous, and is now joined by the Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown) and, later in the evening, by Vega (in Lyra, the harp). Vega and Arcturus are the fourth and fifth brightest stars in the sky. Stretched across the southern sky is Hydra (the water serpent), one of the longest constellations in the sky.


Jupiter (in Gemini) is still bright and obvious, but fading toward the west. Mars (in Virgo) is bright overhead. Don't mistake Mars for Spica, although they are near one another. Mars is distinctly reddish. Saturn, with its rings wide open, is in Libra and rising earlier and earlier in the east. Haul out the binoculars or telescope and give the trio a look! Venus remains a morning "star." See you next month.