Face south in the early to mid-evening and Orion is high in the southern sky. It is easy to identify because of the distinctive "belt" stars and the bright shoulders and kneecaps of Orion. Below the belt hangs the sheath of the sword of Orion, and in the middle of what appears to be three stars is the Orion Nebula. Through binoculars or a small telescope you can clearly see glowing gas and clouds with a distinctive blue hue.
In 2005 I began writing a column for the San Francisco Waldorf School newsletter called "The Urban Astronomer." I started this blog in 2007 as a place to archive my articles and to offer additional insights on the night sky - even if you live in a big city. In 2008 I became an occasional guest on the KFOG Morning Show, and more recently on KALW and KGO. Archived shows are posted on the blog.