The "V" shaped Hyades star cluster just
northwest of Orion marks the face of Taurus the
bull, and the lovely "seven sisters" or
Pleiades star cluster marks his tail nearby.
Returning to Orion's belt, we can follow them
southeast to the brightest star in the night
sky, Sirius, the lead star of Canis Major (the
Below Canis Major, just on the
horizon, you might catch a glimpse of the
second brightest star, Canopus - barely visible
from southern California, it rises a mere 3
degrees! North of Sirius, and alongside Orion,
is the solitary bright star of Canis Minor,
Procyon. Just north of Procyon, you find a
distinctive pair of bright stars; these are the
celestial twins of Gemini: Castor and Pollux.
Straight north from Orion is the pentagonal
pattern of Auriga, led by bright Capella.
In the northwest, we can catch a last glimpse
of the "W" of Cassiopeia the queen - between
her and the pentagon of Auriga is Perseus.
Turning to the opposite horizon, we see Leo the
lion rising in the east, his head looking like
a backwards question mark containing the bright
star Regulus. Bright blue Spica follows,
carrying the rest of Virgo the maiden with her.
Turning to the far north, the big dipper is now
high as the sky gets dark, merely the brightest
portion of the larger constellation of the
great bear Ursa Major. The last two stars in
the dipper's bowl point the way to the north
star, Polaris, which marks the end of the much
less obvious little dipper's handle.