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  • July 2012
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The Summer Night Sky

Image by Ondrej

At this time of year we look skyward to watch the 4th of July fireworks OWN the NIGHT, and spend some time stargazing this summer.  Look for the “Summer Triangle” in the night sky during July.  The triangle is formed by three bright stars–Deneb, Vega and Altair.  Deneb is part of the Cypnus Constellation (The Swan).  Cygnus is also known as the as the Northern Cross.  Vega is part of the Lyra Constellation (The Lyre).  Altair is part of the Aquila Constellation (The Eagle). 

Summer Triangle

Summer Triangle

For more information about Astronomy, check out these books and websites!

A Walk through the Heavens:  A Guide to Stars and Constellations  and their Legends by Milton D. Heifetz and Wil Tirion.  This book is now in its 4th edition.  From the introduction:

This book is written for those who look at the stars with wonderment and would like to feel more at home with them, to go for a friendly walk with them.

  • Fun Fact:  Aquila was Zeus’s pet eagle.  Aquila was not only involved with Ganymede in the legend of Aquarius and how Earth was given rain, but was also part of the story of how people got fire (p. 52).

The 50 Best Sights in Astronomy and How to See Them by Fred Schaaf.  Sight #10 is the Summer Triangle Region.

  • Fun Fact:  In the middle of June’s short nights and at the start of July and August’s evenings, a big and prominent triangle of very bright stars hangs high in the east (p. 54).

Starwatch:  A Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky by Robin Kerrod.  Includes an easy to use planisphere.

  • Fun Fact:  Tiny Lyra is dominated by the brilliant star called Vega.  Vega is the fifth brightest star in the whole heavens (p.63).

 Henry Buhl Jr. Planetarium and Observatory, Carnegie Science Center:  The Buhl Planetarium and Observatory posts an Astronomical Calender.
Sky and Telescope:  Check out the highlights for the night sights for this week!
The more you know about what to look for, the more fun you will have gazing at the stars and planets.
~Marian, CLP–Mt. Washington

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