Below and left of Jupiter, relatively faint planet Mercury twinkles close above the skyline while, to the right of Mercury, red star Antares, also pale in the dawn light, rises into the winter morning sky.
At the first sight of the clearing, I was wonderstruck by an aerial display of countless blinking golden lights and dipping, curving, white gold lines streaking all over the meadow from the ground up to the treetops.
You’ll know Arcturus by remembering to “arc to Arcturus” – simply follow the curve of the Dipper’s handle until you arrive at a big, orange star, the second brightest star in northern skies, second only to Sirius the Dog Star.
In the hour before sunrise during the last week of September and the first week of October, an additional incentive to prompt our waking up to go outdoors in the early morning is the promise of witnessing the ethereal zodiacal light.
Uniquely, right now it is easy for relatively late risers to enjoy the beauty and wonder of celestial dawn. Beginning today and lasting through January 10, sunup in our locale is at 7:22 a.m., the latest of the year.