Arc to Arcturus, spike to Spica
Follow the arc to Arcturus and drive a spike (or speed on) to Spica.
First locate the Big Dipper in the northeastern sky. Draw an imaginary line following the curve in the Dipper’s handle until you come to a bright orange star. This star is Arcturus in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman.
Arcturus is a giant star at an estimated distance of 37 light-years from Earth. It’s special because it’s not moving with the general stream of stars in the flat disk of the Milky Way galaxy. Instead, Arcturus is cutting perpendicularly through the galaxy’s disk at a tremendous rate of speed … some 100 miles (160 km) per second. Millions of years from now this star will be lost from the view of any future inhabitants of Earth, or at least those who are earthbound and looking with the eye alone.
Spica, in the constellation Virgo, looks like one star, but this single point of light is really a multiple star system – with two hot stars orbiting very close together – located at an estimated distance of 262 light-years away from Earth.
Bottom line: Follow the arc to Arcturus and drive a spike to Spica.