Go outside after dark this month and you will see a bright “star” in the night sky.
What is it? The North Star? Absolutely not—the North Star (also called Polaris) is actually the 48th brightest star in the sky. The Dog Star? No, that’s Sirius, which isn’t easily visible at this time of year. In fact, there aren’t any really bright stars visible right now.
So what is it?
Could it be a planet? Almost certainly. Exactly what you’re seeing depends on in what direction you’re looking in the night sky, and when. However, if you’ve noticed an object shining very brightly, it’s very likely to be a planet.
Here’s how to identify exactly what that bright object you keep seeing actually is: