Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
I pointed out the Summer Triangle earlier this month. This famous pattern of stars is now at its best in the night sky. The Summer Triangle consists of three bright stars – Vega, Deneb and Altair – in three separate constellations. If you can find the Summer Triangle, you can use it to locate three of the sky’s smallest constellations: Vulpecula the Fox, Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow.
All three would be impossible to see from the city. Personally – true confession ahead here – I have never managed to identify Vulpecula in my 30+ years of stargazing. It is just so faint and so small!
On the other hand, the little constellations Delphinus and Sagitta are very distinctive. They are easy to see in a dark country sky, because both actually look somewhat like the objects/creatures for which they are named. Delphinus is supposed to be the Dolphin that carried a Greek poet – Arion – safely away from his enemies. Sagitta is sometimes considered to be an arrow shot from the bow of Hercules.
Our Summer Triangle series includes:
Written by Deborah ByrdPrint This Post