By Collin O’Mara-Green
August 2022 Night Sky at 10pm
This coming month, many of the prominent summer constellations will linger in the sky until the shorter days of autumn arrive. Here are a few star patterns to look for when the sky is dark around 10pm:
Summer Triangle – high overhead will be three bright stars that form a large triangle shape. This is an asterism called the Summer Triangle. It consists of stars from three separate constellations. Straight up is the brightest star Vega in Lyra. Vega is relatively close to our Sun at 25 light years. The constellation Lyra is hard to see and resembles a harp. Next brightest is Altair in Aquilla the Eagle. Another difficult to see constellation with a bright promenent star at its core. Altair forms the head or heart of the eagle. Although less bright than Vega, Altair is closer to us at about 17 light years. The least bright star of the Summer Triangle is Deneb in constellation Cygnus the Swan. Deneb is the most luminous of the three stars, but also the most distant at 1400 light years, so it appears less bright to us. Cygnus the Swan is quite easy to see, with star Deneb marking the tail and a cross-shape of stars forming the outstretched wings and long neck of the swan flying through the Summer Triangle!
Keep lookin’ up!