Thursday, June 16, 2005
The Summer Triangle
The days are getting very long at the moment, so you only get a few hours of observing time every night. Still there are always some interesting objects to observe, even with the naked eye. If you go outside around midnight you can see three bright stars high in the eastern sky, Deneb in Cygnus (the Swan), Vega in Lyra (the Harp) and Altair in Aquila (the Eagle).

Together these three bright stars form an asterism called the Summer Triangle. They range in brightness is from magnitude 0.03 to magnitude 1.25. Can you tell which one is the brightest and which one is the faintest? Maybe a good way to train your eyes and brains, learning to estimate the different magnitudes of stars.
Magnitude: the brightness of a star or any other celestial object. The higher the magnitude, the fainter the object.

On the map below (click to enlarge) you can see the Summer Triangle as a red triangle. Within the boundaries of this map lie two of my all time favorite binocular objects for 7x50 binoculars, the Cygnus star Cloud and the constellation Delphinus. In July/August I will try to observe these two brilliant objects. If I succeed, I will be back with some observing reports, finder charts etc. in the Deepsky Section (Binocular objects).


Image from SkyTools2 by Capellasoft, slightly processed

Posted by Math on 06/16 at 06:57 AM | (3) Comments | filed in: Deepsky log | Print