Have You Ever Noticed The 'Summer Triangle' Up In The Nighttime Sky?

Aug 19, 2019

Each summer a familiar shape appears high in the eastern sky that is worth taking a look at. Three bright stars form a large easy to see V shape in the sky called the Summer Triangle. Each bright star of the Summer Triangle is also associated with a well-known constellation that is easy to recognize.

Vega, Altair and Deneb are the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle. Vega is part of the constellation Lyra, a parallelogram shaped asterism that forms an ancient musical instrument called the Lyre. Deneb is part of Cygnus the Swan or sometimes called the Northern Cross. Altair helps form the constellation Aquila the Eagle. Not including the sun Vega is the 5th brightest star in the sky followed by Deneb the 12th brightest. Finally Altair follows as the 19th brightest star.

On a clear night in a dark place away from bright city lights you can also see the Milky Way winding its way through the Summer Triangle. The Milky Way is actually our galaxy of stars seen edgewise from our point of view. Our sun and all the other stars we see at night are part of our Milky Way galaxy.

Looking at the interior of the Summer Triangle with a pair of binoculars will reveal a host of stars and star clusters associated with our Milky Way.