What Is That Bright Star in the Northwest?

Arcturus is one of the brightest and most easily recognized stars in the northwestern sky. Located in the constellation of Boötes, this orange giant is at its most prominent during springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to the University of Illinois, Arcturus follows the constellation Ursa Major around the pole. The star itself is located some 37 light years from the Earth and is approximately 18 times larger than the sun. Acturus is the fourth brightest star in the sky and can be most easily located by following the curve of the Big Dipper's handle in search of a bright star that gives off a soft orange light.