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Skywatch: The 'Ghost of the Summer Sun' is here

Arcturus is the brightest star in Bootes, the herdsmen.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As we mark the Halloween holiday you can find something known as the “Ghost of the Summer Sun”. Arcturus is the brightest star in Bootes, the herdsmen.

This time of year the star rises and sets in the same place as the summer sun on the solstice, hence the name. To find Arcturus look in the northwestern sky in the evening. Use stars on the handle of the Big Dipper to help you find it.

One thing you may have noticed recently is the fact that an old friend has returned to the sky. The constellation of Orion is a winter constellation but it’s been rising earlier and earlier each day as we get closer to the colder months. Look for it in the eastern sky around midnight.

There will be less light pollution in the sky this week as the moon wanes. The New Moon officially arrives on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. A darker sky will mean more stars will be visible.

Uranus reaches a milestone this week. At about 8 p.m. Thursday the planet will be opposite of the sun in our sky signaling its opposition. This makes the planet easier to observe.

Look for Uranus around midnight in the southeastern sky. It’ll be above and right of the constellation of Taurus. You’ll need a telescope to find it. 

Happy hunting!

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