Q: There’s a really bright star flickering many different colors, not far above the southwestern horizon at around 8:15 p.m. What is it? It’s incredible!
A: You are seeing the Dog Star, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Every late April and early May in southern Arizona at around 8 p.m., Sirius can be easily found by pointing left from Orion’s three-star belt (that’s pointing southwest in the sky if you’re an astronomer). You’ll need to be in an area to see the southwestern horizon, as Sirius is not very high above the horizon. When you’ve found it, look for Sirius to flicker different colors dramatically when low in the sky, a wonderful sight in binoculars. Look soon, though, as there won’t be many days left to see Sirius and Orion. They set earlier each night in evening twilight.