How to Spot a Scorpion in the Night Sky - Bonus: Red Giant Star Antares and the Waxing Gibbous Moon
On summer evenings, you may notice a curved grouping of stars crawling across the southern sky, among them a brilliant red beacon. This is the constellation Scorpius, the scorpion, and beginning in late June, it's the prime time to look for it. This grouping of stars has been thought of as having the shape of a scorpion going back to ancient times in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In the Greek myth, the scorpion's deadly sting brought down the great hunter Orion, and that's why – the story goes – we find them on opposite sides of the sky today. This pattern of stars also been seen as part of a great dragon, in China, and the fish hook of the demigod Maui in Hawaii. That fish-hook shape also forms the tail of the scorpion. By the end of the month, the scorpion's tail will be above the horizon after sunset for most stargazers. That bright, beacon-like star in Scorpius is Antares, which is a huge red giant star, and one of the brightest in the sky. It forms the blazing heart of the scorpion. So look toward the south and use Antares as your guide to finding the constellation Scorpius. Tuesday evening, June 22, 2021, the bright star Antares will appear about 5 degrees below the waxing gibbous Moon. Stay Tuned!