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Look overhead to see the summer Milky Way

27 Aug 2011, 07:01 UTC
Look overhead to see the summer Milky Way
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

You need a dark sky to see the summer Milky Way. It looks like a hazy pathway across the night sky.

The moon will be new tomorrow and then in a waxing crescent phase in the west after sunset in the next few days. That means that, over the coming week, the moon will set soon after sunset and be mostly absent from the evening sky.
And a moonless sky means this is a good time to get out into the country for a look at the summer Milky Way: the edgewise view into our own galaxy.
Here is the view if you are standing facing east – but craning your neck to look overhead. The galaxy stretches across the sky during the evening hours now. When you look at it with the eye alone, you might think it looks hazy. But you’ll see the truth if you’ll peer at the Milky Way with an ordinary pair of binoculars. Binoculars cause the so-called haze to explode into view as myriad, distant stars.
I’ve marked some bright stars that you’ll find along the path of the Milky Way if you’re looking overhead. Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, Deneb in ...

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