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See Summer Triangle in west on December evenings

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Tonight for December 11, 2013

In the west shortly after sunset on these December evenings, you’ll find a famous asterism – a noticeable pattern of stars, not a constellation – known as the Summer Triangle. Good chance that you’ll be able to see these three brilliant stars, despite tonight’s moonlit glare.

Summer Triangle in winter? Sure. It’s called the summer triangle, because – for us in the Northern Hemisphere – summer is the season in which these stars soar overhead.

The Triangle consists of three bright stars in three different constellations. They are Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, Deneb in the constellation Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in the constellation Aquila the Eagle.

Still, if you look for this pattern this month, you’ll find that, around the time of the winter solstice, the Summer Triangle is descending in the west in early evening. It’s getting closer each evening to disappearing into the sunset glare.

How long into winter will you be able to see the Summer Triangle in your evening sky?

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