Starry Night Sky with Milky Way by Tree in Sossusvlei Namibia

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Have you had that ‘blanket of stars’ moment when you’re standing under the starriest sky you’ve ever seen and you wonder … what is all that? What am I looking at? Why has no-one taught me anything about the stars?

Where are we?

The night sky is just geography, and learning a little about what you can see can give you powerful doses of both wonder and perspective. Forget ‘why are we here?’. No-one knows that. Ask ‘where are we?’. That’s a much more interesting question and has some incredible answers that are best realized by stargazing. It’s a journey of discovery that’s best shared.

So here are five things to find in the night sky from May through September, and the story behind them. Arm yourself with a planetarium app to help you find the star or planet in question, and with the stories and facts below about the significance of what you’re looking at, you’re all set to learn and share these secrets of the cosmos with friends and family. Attention spans are short, so don’t try too hard.  

Vega is a great star to find in the summer sky.

Getty

1. Meet the neighbors

Start at the beginning. If you’ve got a clear sky, start by asking your fellow stargazers what they’re looking at. Answers will likely include ‘the Universe’, ‘the Milky Way’ and the vague ‘some stars’. You’re looking at our neighborhood. Almost everything you can see with the naked eye are stars that are bright enough because they are (a) bigger than most stars and (b) relatively close to us. Some others are bright because they are colossal, so despite being far away, they’re still bright enough to see. You just saw the night sky in 3D!

From the northern hemisphere, it’s not possible to see the nearest visible star to the Sun, Alpha Centauri, while Sirius, the Dog Star and the brightest star in the sky, isn’t visible in summer. So direct your stargazing friends towards Vega, just 27 light years away and an anchor star of the summer night sky in the northern hemisphere.

  • Fact: there are 45 known stars within 17 light years of the Sun according to NASA
  • Fact: There are thought to be between 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way

You can see Jupiter and its four largest moons all summer long.

SkySafari

2. Jupiter and its moons

For some, finding out that other planets in the solar system have moons will blow their minds. However, only one planet’s moons are visible from here. Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are the four so-called Galilean moons of Jupiter. The giant planet is at opposition (i.e. the brightest of the year) on June 10, 2019, but point any pair of binoculars or a small telescope at Jupiter at any time of night this summer and you’ll see some or all of those moons in a line. It’s a beautiful sight.

  • Fact: Ganymede is bigger than Mercury
  • Fact: Europa has a salt-water ocean beneath an ice sheet that could contain life

The Summer Triangle is unmissable in summer skies.

SkySafari

3. The Summer Triangle

From mid-June look out for the three bright stars rising in the east. First comes Vega in Lyra, then Deneb in Cygnus, and finally Altair in Aquila. Why? Firstly, it’s a classic seasonal asterism (a shape, but not a constellation) that single the arrival of summer. Secondly, it’s directly over the Milky Way (which runs behind it through Deneb and Altair). Thirdly, it’s a great lesson in star nearness and brightness that we already discussed. Though all three stars look similar in brightness, Altair is a mere 17 light years distant and Vega just 27 light years. However, Deneb is a whopping 1,500 light years away at least. That’s just about as distant a star it’s possible to see. Why so bright? Deneb is the Milky Way’s most luminous star, a blue-white supergiant that’s about 2o0 times bigger than the Sun. 

  • Fact: Deneb is 200 times the size of the Sun.
  • Fact: Close to Vega and Deneb is where the Kepler Space Telescope found the majority of the 4,000+ exoplanets so far discovered.

Bryce Canyon National Park in the American southwest.

Getty

4. Our home the Milky Way

Are there any more impressive sights than the Milky Way arching across the sky? This collection of 200 billion+ stars is our home, though the fact that we can see a lot of it during summer tells you that we’re some distance from the center (in winter we’re looking away from the center). In fact, we’re orbiting an average star in the Orion Arm, a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way. From around June until October the Milky Way is visible soon after dark, though you must (a) only look when the moon is down (the last few days of each month in 2019 are ideal). You can see the Milky Way in the south-east, streaming down through the Summer Triangle.

  • Fact: The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy much like billions of others in the Universe
  • Fact: The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way about once every 230 million years.

Spica and Arcturus are the two brightest stars in the spring sky. 

Getty

5. Arc to Arcturus, spike to Spica

Now look north for the Big Dipper/The Plough, one of the most recognizable asterisms (shapes) of all. Not a constellation? No. It’s the central part of Ursa Major, the Great Bear (finding the bear’s feet and the tail is fun since they’re mostly all easy-to-see double stars). Follow the stars of the Big Dipper’s and it leads in an easy ‘Arc to Arcturus’, a massive and very bright orange (and obvious) star in the constellation of Bootes, 37 light-years away from us. Arcturus is often mistaken for Mars (though only every other year when Mars passes close by, as it will next in 2020).

Now take a ‘spike to Spica’, the next bright star closer to the horizon. About 250 light-years away, Spica is actually a binary star; it’s two stars orbit each other every four stars. So what? Well, as it turns out, most of the stars we can see are, in fact, binary stars … 

  • Fact: Arcturus is the closest giant star to Earth and it’s moving erratically through the Milky Way, so may have come from another small galaxy that merged with the Milky Way.
  • Fact: Most of the stars in the Big Dipper constitute the closest star cluster to the Sun. 

 

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(***** )(****** )(******* )(******** )Starry Night Sky with Galaxy by Tree in Sossusvlei Namibia

Getty

Have you had that ‘blanket of stars’ minute when you’re standing under the starriest sky you’ve ever seen and you question … what is all that? What am I taking a look at? Why has no-one taught me anything about the stars?

Where are we?

The night sky is simply location, and finding out a little about what you can see can offer you effective dosages of both marvel and viewpoint. Forget ‘why are we here?’. No-one understands that. Ask ‘where are we?’. That’s a a lot more intriguing concern and has some amazing responses that are best recognized by stargazing. It’s a journey of discovery that’s finest shared.

So here are 5 things to discover in the night sky from May through September, and the story behind them. Arm yourself with a planetarium app to assist you discover the star or world in concern, and with the stories and realities listed below about the significance of what you’re taking a look at, you’re all set to find out and share these tricks of the universes with family and friends. Attention periods are brief, so do not attempt too difficult.

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(******** )Vega is an excellent star to discover

in the summertime sky.

Getty

1. Fulfill the next-door neighbors

(************ )Start at the start. If you have actually got a clear sky, start by asking your fellow stargazers what they’re taking a look at. Responses will likely consist of ‘deep space’, ‘the Galaxy’ and the unclear ‘some stars’. You’re taking a look at our community. Nearly whatever you can see with the naked eye are stars that are brilliant enough since they are (a) larger than the majority of stars and (b) reasonably near us. Some others are brilliant since they are gigantic, so regardless of being far, they’re still brilliant sufficient to see. You simply saw the night sky in 3D!

From the northern hemisphere, it’s not possible to see the nearby noticeable star to the Sun, Alpha Centauri, while Sirius, the Pet Dog Star and the brightest star in the sky, isn’t noticeable in summertime. So direct your stargazing buddies towards Vega, simply 27 light years away and an anchor star of the summertime night sky in the northern hemisphere.

  • Truth: there are 45 recognized stars within 17 light years of the Sun according to NASA
  • Truth: There are believed to be in between 200-400 billion stars in the Galaxy

You can see Jupiter and its 4 biggest moons all summertime long.

SkySafari

2. Jupiter and its moons

For some, learning that other worlds in the planetary system have moons will blow their minds. Nevertheless, just one world’s moons show up from here. Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are the 4 so-called Galilean moons of Jupiter. The huge world is at opposition (i.e. the brightest of the year) on June 10, 2019, however point any set of field glasses or a little telescope at Jupiter at any time of night this summertime and you’ll see some or all of those moons in a line. It’s a lovely sight.

  • Truth: Ganymede is larger than Mercury
  • Truth: Europa has a salt-water ocean below an ice sheet that might include life

The Summer season Triangle is unmissable in summertime skies.

SkySafari

3. The Summertime Triangle

From mid-June keep an eye out for the 3 brilliant stars increasing in the east. Initially comes Vega in Lyra, then Deneb in Cygnus, and lastly Altair in Aquila. Why? To start with, it’s a traditional seasonal asterism (a shape, however not a constellation) that single the arrival of summertime. Second of all, it’s straight over the Galaxy (which runs behind it through Deneb and Altair). Third, it’s an excellent lesson in star proximity and brightness that we currently went over. Though all 3 stars look comparable in brightness, Altair is a simple 17 light years remote and Vega simply 27 light years. Nevertheless, Deneb is a massive 1,500 light years away a minimum of. That’s almost as remote a star it’s possible to see. Why so brilliant? Deneb is the Galaxy’s the majority of luminescent star, a blue-white supergiant that has to do with 2o0 times larger than the Sun.

  • Truth: Deneb is 200 times the size of the Sun.
  • Truth: Near Vega and Deneb is where the Kepler Area Telescope discovered most of the 4,000+ exoplanets up until now found.

Bryce Canyon National Forest in the American southwest.

Getty

4. Our house the Galaxy

Exist anymore outstanding sights than the Galaxy arching throughout the sky? This collection of 200 billion+ stars is our house, though the truth that we can see a great deal of it throughout summertime informs you that we’re some range from the center (in winter season we’re averting from the center). In truth, we’re orbiting a typical star in the Orion Arm, a small spiral arm of the Galaxy. From around June up until October the Galaxy is noticeable right after dark, though you should (a) just look when the moon is down (the last couple of days of every month in 2019 are perfect). You can see the Galaxy in the south-east, streaming down through the Summer season Triangle.

  • Truth: The Galaxy is a disallowed spiral nebula just like billions of others in deep space
  • Truth: T he Sun orbits the center of the Galaxy about as soon as every 230 million years.
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Spica and Arcturus are the 2 brightest stars in the spring sky.

Getty

(************* )5. Arc to Arcturus, spike to Spica

Now look north for the Huge Dipper/The Plough, among the most identifiable asterisms (shapes) of all. Not a constellation? No. It’s the main part of Ursa Major, the Great Bear (discovering the bear’s feet and the tail is enjoyable because they’re mainly all easy-to-see double stars). Follow the stars of the Huge Dipper’s and it leads in a simple ‘Arc to Arcturus’, an enormous and really brilliant orange (and apparent) star in the constellation of Bootes, 37 light-years away from us. Arcturus is frequently incorrect for Mars (though just every other year when Mars passes nearby, as it will next in 2020).

Now take a ‘spike to Spica’, the next brilliant star more detailed to the horizon. About 250 light-years away, Spica is really a binary star; it’s 2 stars orbit each other every 4 stars. So what? Well, as it ends up, the majority of the stars we can see are, in truth, binary stars …

  • Truth: Arcturus is the closest huge star to Earth and i t’s moving unpredictably through the Galaxy, so might have originated from another little galaxy that combined with the Galaxy.
  • Truth: The majority of the stars in the Huge Dipper make up the closest star cluster to the Sun.

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.

Starry Night Sky with Galaxy by Tree in Sossusvlei Namibia

Getty

.

.

Have you had that ‘blanket of stars’ minute when you’re standing under the starriest sky you’ve ever seen and you question … what is all that? What am I taking a look at? Why has no-one taught me anything about the stars?

Where are we?

The night sky is simply location, and finding out a little about what you can see can offer you effective dosages of both marvel and viewpoint. Forget ‘why are we here?’. No-one understands that. Ask ‘where are we?’. That’s a a lot more intriguing concern and has some amazing responses that are best recognized by stargazing. It’s a journey of discovery that’s finest shared.

So here are 5 things to discover in the night sky from May through September, and the story behind them. Arm yourself with a planetarium app to assist you discover the star or world in concern, and with the stories and realities listed below about the significance of what you’re taking a look at, you’re all set to find out and share these tricks of the universes with family and friends. Attention periods are brief, so do not attempt too difficult.

.

.

Vega is an excellent star to discover in the summertime sky.

Getty

.

.

1. Fulfill the next-door neighbors

Start at the start. If you have actually got a clear sky, start by asking your fellow stargazers what they’re taking a look at. Responses will likely consist of ‘deep space’, ‘the Galaxy’ and the unclear ‘some stars’. You’re taking a look at our community. Nearly whatever you can see with the naked eye are stars that are brilliant enough since they are (a) larger than the majority of stars and (b) reasonably near us. Some others are brilliant since they are gigantic, so regardless of being far, they’re still brilliant sufficient to see. You simply saw the night sky in 3D!

From the northern hemisphere, it’s not possible to see the nearby noticeable star to the Sun, Alpha Centauri, while Sirius, the Pet Dog Star and the brightest star in the sky, isn’t noticeable in summertime. So direct your stargazing buddies towards Vega, simply 27 light years away and an anchor star of the summertime night sky in the northern hemisphere.

    .

  • Truth: there are 45 recognized stars within 17 light years of the Sun according to NASA
  • Truth: There are believed to be in between 200 – 400 billion stars in the Galaxy

.

.

You can see Jupiter and its 4 biggest moons all summertime long.

SkySafari

.

.

2. Jupiter and its moons

For some, learning that other worlds in the planetary system have moons will blow their minds. Nevertheless, just one world’s moons show up from here. Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are the 4 so-called Galilean moons of Jupiter. The huge world is at opposition (i.e. the brightest of the year) on June 10, 2019, however point any set of field glasses or a little telescope at Jupiter at any time of night this summertime and you’ll see some or all of those moons in a line. It’s a lovely sight.

    .

  • Truth: Ganymede is larger than Mercury
  • Truth: Europa has a salt-water ocean below an ice sheet that might include life

.

.

The Summer season Triangle is unmissable in summertime skies.

SkySafari

.

.

3. The Summertime Triangle

From mid-June keep an eye out for the 3 brilliant stars increasing in the east. Initially comes Vega in Lyra, then Deneb in Cygnus, and lastly Altair in Aquila. Why? To start with, it’s a traditional seasonal asterism (a shape, however not a constellation) that single the arrival of summertime. Second of all, it’s straight over the Galaxy (which runs behind it through Deneb and Altair). Third, it’s an excellent lesson in star proximity and brightness that we currently went over. Though all 3 stars look comparable in brightness, Altair is a simple 17 light years remote and Vega simply 27 light years. Nevertheless, Deneb is a massive 1, 500 light years away a minimum of. That’s almost as remote a star it’s possible to see. Why so brilliant? Deneb is the Galaxy’s the majority of luminescent star, a blue-white supergiant that has to do with 2o0 times larger than the Sun.

    .

  • Truth: Deneb is 200 times the size of the Sun.
  • Truth: Near Vega and Deneb is where the Kepler Area Telescope discovered most of the 4, 000 + exoplanets up until now found.

.

.

Bryce Canyon National Forest in the American southwest.

Getty

.

.

4. Our house the Galaxy

Exist anymore outstanding sights than the Galaxy arching throughout the sky? This collection of 200 billion + stars is our house, though the truth that we can see a great deal of it throughout summertime informs you that we’re some range from the center (in winter season we’re averting from the center). In truth, we’re orbiting a typical star in the Orion Arm, a small spiral arm of the Galaxy. From around June up until October the Galaxy shows up right after dark, though you should (a) just look when the moon is down (the last couple of days of every month in 2019 are perfect). You can see the Galaxy in the south-east, streaming down through the Summer season Triangle.

    .

  • Truth: The Galaxy is a disallowed spiral nebula just like billions of others in deep space
  • Truth: T he Sun orbits the center of the Galaxy about as soon as every 230 million years.

.

.

Spica and Arcturus are the 2 brightest stars in the spring sky.

Getty

.

.

5. Arc to Arcturus, spike to Spica

Now look north for the Huge Dipper/The Plough, among the most identifiable asterisms (shapes) of all. Not a constellation? No. It’s the main part of Ursa Major, the Great Bear (discovering the bear’s feet and the tail is enjoyable because they’re mainly all easy-to-see double stars). Follow the stars of the Huge Dipper’s and it leads in a simple ‘Arc to Arcturus’, an enormous and really brilliant orange (and apparent) star in the constellation of Bootes, 37 light-years far from us. Arcturus is frequently incorrect for Mars (though just every other year when Mars passes nearby, as it will next in 2020).

Now take a ‘spike to Spica’, the next brilliant star more detailed to the horizon. About 250 light-years away, Spica is really a binary star; it’s 2 stars orbit each other every 4 stars. So what? Well, as it ends up, the majority of the stars we can see are, in truth, binary stars …

    .

  • Truth: Arcturus is the closest huge star to Earth and i t’s moving unpredictably through the Galaxy, so might have originated from another little galaxy that combined with the Galaxy.
  • .

  • Truth: The majority of the stars in the Huge Dipper make up the closest star cluster to the Sun.

.