posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 09:14 AM
I've always noticed that Arcturus is a very noticeable star when it scintillates ("twinkles"), due to its brightness and is ruddy orange color.
When Arcturus does scintillate, it seems to twinkle very quickly and variably between several colors, putting on quite a show. The OP said
"sparkles", which is a good way to describe it sometimes (depending on the amount of scintillation).
Arcturus is a bit away from the Big Dipper, but its handle can be used to find Arcturus (and another bright star, Spica). The "old astronomer's
saying" is that you "follow the arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica", with the arc being the arc-shaped handle of the Big Dipper. If
you follow that arc, the first bright star you find is Arcturus. Then if you keep going, you the next bright star you eventually come across is