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Four out of the five brightest stars we can see are now readily visible in the celestial dome. Of course, the sun is our brightest and closest star.

Once the sun has finally set on these early June evenings, the next brightest “star” to pop out is Venus in the Shamokin northwest sky. It doesn’t count, though, because it’s not a star – it’s a planet. The next brightest actual star is Arcturus, lighting up the southern sky, and next in line is Vega, showing off its brilliance in the high eastern sky.

Mike Lynch is an amateur astronomer and retired broadcast meteorologist for WCCO Radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is the author of “Stars: a Month by Month Tour of the Constellations,” published by Adventure Publications and available at bookstores and adventurepublications.net. Mike is available for private star parties. You can contact him at mikewlynch@comcast.net.

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