Seen from the northern latitudes, the three brilliant stars of the Summer Triangle – Vega, Deneb and Altair – are actually out for at least part of the night every night of the year. Right now, the Summer Triangle shines in the eastern sky at and before dawn.
Around May Day, the Summer Triangle rises into the eastern sky by midnight, and when the June solstice comes rolling around, the Summer Triangle adorns the eastern sky at evening dusk. Because the Summer Triangle is out all night long during a Northern Hemisphere summer, this great big triangle of stars serves as a well-known fixture for the summer sky.
On a clear, dark night, the luminescent band of stars that we call the Milky Way passes right through signpost Summer Triangle.
Thank you to Tom Wildoner for sharing his photo with us. Tom wrote:
This image was taken on the morning of March 11, 2014 in Carbon County, PA. This 60 second exposure shows Deneb somewhat left of center, Vega at top center and Altair on the right.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.