I have good news and bad news about the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. The good news is that it’s truly one of the few constellations that resembles what it’s supposed to be. The bad news is that in these northern latitudes it can be tough to see the great celestial scorpion. That’s because it’s a low rider in the Shamokin southern sky. In the early evening this time of year, Scorpius is at its highest point in the southern sky, but that’s not saying much because it’s barely above the horizon. If you have any tree line above the southern horizon you may not see Scorpius’s stinger. You may have to position yourself so that the southern horizon is as low as possible.

Viewing from a hilltop usually takes care of that problem.

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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