The Summer Triangle, an impressive star pattern shaped by three bright stars, is visible high in the southeast as twilight deepens and is prominent all night.
In the evening sky, the Summer Triangle hovers above Mars, the not-to-be-missed brightest celestial body – excepting the moon – in the southeastern sky. Altair, the lowest star of the Triangle is directly above the planet, with Deneb and Vega above Altair, to the left and right, respectively.
Through less than ideal viewing conditions – whether haze, high clouds, moonlight or light pollution – Mars shines in the southeast at dusk and is visible until well after midnight, setting in the southwest. I have seen the planet appear redder of late, a riveting sight to look forward to every night.
The waxing moon is to the right of Saturn tonight and to the right and above Mars on Wednesday the 22nd. On Saturday, the 25th, enjoy the nearly full moon as it lifts above the east-southeast horizon at 7:31pm. Wake up to the Full Moon on Sunday morning, the 26th, before it sets in the southwest-west at about 6am, opposite the rising sun in the east-northeast. Another opportunity to see this Full Moon is Sunday evening at 8:02pm. Adjust times for your viewshed.
|Friday August 24 Sunrise at 6:10 a.m.|
Be radical, plan a pre-dawn awakening to see the brightest star in Earth’s sky, Sirius, appear after a long absence. Sirius’ heliacal rising – emerging from the Sun’s glare – occurred about a week ago at our location. Considering the Berkshire terrain, it is a little less challenging to capture a glimpse of Sirius now that sunrise is several minutes later and Sirius rises nearly half an hour earlier. Be at an unobstructed sightline to the east-southeast horizon by 4:45am. Planet Mercury may be spotted along with Sirius during the timeframe of this post. Look for Mercury to the left of Sirius; binoculars could prove useful. For enriching cultural context, please refer to the Resource links that follow.
For a 13 second video of heliacal rising of Mercury, go to link, then scroll down
Heliacal rising of Sirius
Opportunities to participate
For Educators K – 12 Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms https://mass.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/universe/#.W3YH6yephAY,
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