More than any other month, July is the month of the Summer Triangle. The brightest triangle star is Vega in the constellation Lyra.
Look eastward this evening, and it’s hard to miss the season’s signature star formation, called the Summer Triangle. Its stars — Vega, Deneb and Altair — are the first three to light up the eastern half of sky after sunset, and their bright and sparkling radiance is even visible from light-polluted cities.
Try looking first for the most prominent star in the eastern sky, which is Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp. Vega is blue-white in color. It’s sometimes called the Harp Star. And many people recognize its constellation, Lyra, as a triangle of stars connected to a parallelogram.
Summer Triangle: Vega, Deneb, Altair
It’s hard to gauge the humongous size of the Summer Triangle by looking at our little chart. A 12-inch ruler, when placed at an arm’s length from your eye, spans the approximate distance from Vega to the star Altair. And an outstretched hand more or less fills the gap between Vega and Deneb.
July 2011 guide to the five visible planets
More than any other month, July is the month of the ...