Beyond the Weather: The winter circle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The weather has finally warmed and much of the snow has melted away. This is a sign that spring is not far away. Astronomical spring begins next Wednesday, March 20 at 4:58 p.m. Many signs of the spring season are around us, but one also can be found beyond the weather.

Friday night, make sure you look to the south. As night falls, the winter circle of stars appears. It will be easy to locate as the waxing moon will be found inside this circle. The circle is made up of the following stars: Capella, Pollux, Castor, Procyon, Sirius, Rigel, and Aldebaran.

The winter circle is high enough to be visible in the northern sky as winter begins, then moves to the southern sky and slowly sinks as we approach summer.

The moon’s position within the circle the next couple of days is the approximate position of the sun in our sky when summer begins in June.

Happy stargazing!