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Favorite Star Patterns

Winter Circle
Tonight | Jan 12, 2015

Winter Circle: Brightest winter stars

In this hemisphere, we call it the Winter Circle, but it can be seen from around the globe. It’s a big circle of brilliant stars.

The Hyades.  Copyright Jerry Lodriguss/ AstroPix.com
Tonight | Jan 10, 2015

V-shaped Hyades star cluster easy to find

The Hyades star cluster represents the Face of Taurus the Bull. The cluster is easy to spot and beautiful in binoculars.

Pleiades star cluster, aka the Seven Sisters.
Tonight | Nov 12, 2014

Pleiades star cluster: Famous Seven Sisters

Frosty November is often called the month of the Pleiades, because it’s when this star cluster – sometimes called the Seven Sisters – shines from dusk until dawn.

best_greatsquareraw
Tonight | Sep 09, 2014

Great Square of Pegasus: Easy to see

The Great Square of Pegasus consists of four stars of nearly equal brightness that make a large square pattern. It is best seen from September to March.

ecliptic_galactic_equator_winter_solstice_point
Tonight | Aug 07, 2014

Teapot of Sagittarius: In the direction of galaxy’s center

Two things set Sagittarius apart from all other constellations: the winter solstice sun shines in front of it, and it marks the direction to the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

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Tonight | Jul 15, 2014

Coathanger: Looks like its name

The Coathanger star cluster – also known as Brocchi’s cluster – is a tiny pattern of stars on our sky’s dome. It really looks like a coat hanger and is surprisingly easy to make out through binoculars. The trick to viewing the Coathanger is to start from the star Albireo and to star-hop to its spot in the sky.

Crown of the Scorpion by Dennis Chabot.
Tonight | Jul 01, 2014

Crown of the Scorpion

Three stars – Graffias, Dschubba and Pi Scorpii – make up the Scorpion’s Crown.

northern-cross
Tonight | Jun 09, 2014

Northern Cross: Backbone of the Milky Way

The Northern Cross isn’t one of the 88 official constellations. Instead, it’s an “asterism” or recognizable pattern of stars. It’s part of the constellation Cygnus the Swan.

Vega, the Summer Triangle's brightest star, found high in the east at nightfall in June and July
Tonight | Jun 01, 2014

Summer Triangle: Vega, Deneb, Altair

During the summer months, the Summer Triangle star formation lights the sky from dusk until dawn. It consists of three bright stars: Vega in the constellation Lyra, Deneb in the constellation Cygnus, and Altair in the constellation Aquila.

Crux, via AlltheSky.com
Tonight | Apr 24, 2014

Northern Hemisphere guide to the Southern Cross

From the N. Hemisphere, you have to be in Hawaii, or south Florida or south Texas – about 26 degrees N. latitude or further south – to see the Southern Cross.

Big Dipper via EarthSky Facebook friend Ken Christison.
Tonight | Mar 24, 2014

Big and Little Dippers: Everything you need to know

The Big Dipper is easy. And, once you find it, you can find the Little Dipper, too. Plus … learn how the stars of the Big Dipper are moving in space.