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Star of the week: Deneb

Deneb is one of the most distant stars you will see with your eye alone. That’s because it’s one of the most luminous stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Born under the sign of Ophiuchus?

Born between November 29 and December 18? If so, the sun passes in front of Ophiuchus on your birthday. Ophiuchus is a constellation – not a sign – of the zodiac.

Constellation Cepheus looks like a house

The constellation Cepheus represents a King, but looks like the stick house that children draw.

Dark Rift in the Milky Way

Look edgewise into our galaxy’s disk, and you’ll notice a long, dark lane dividing the bright starry band of the Milky Way. This Dark Rift is a place where new stars are forming.

Moon sweeps through Taurus the Bull

Before dawn now, the moon is near the bright star Aldebaran and the little dipper of the Pleiades star cluster. Chart here, plus info on an upcoming occultation of Aldebaran by the moon.

Ophiuchus is part of the zodiac, too

The sun is in front of the constellation Ophiuchus from about November 30 to December 18. Look for it in the southwest sky on August and September evenings.

Star-hop to Perseid meteor radiant

Tonight, as you watch the Perseid meteor shower, see if you can star-hop from the constellation Cassiopeia to the Double Cluster, which nearly coincides with the radiant point of the Perseid shower.

Star of the week: Altair

Altair needs only 10 hours to spin once on its axis, in contrast to roughly a month for our sun. This mighty star spins on its axis faster than Earth does!

Big Dipper to Polaris, Mizar, Alcor

Use the Big Dipper to find Polaris, the North Star. Then notice the two stars Mizar and Alcor in the Big Dipper’s handle.

Star of the week: Albireo

Albireo is known best for the striking color contrast between its two stars – the brighter gold star and the dimmer blue star.

Summer Triangle on August evenings

The Summer Triangle is a fixture of our skies at this time of year. Its three stars are Vega, Deneb and Altair.

Watch for Cassiopeia the Queen

Find the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen in the northeastern sky after sundown. Depending on your perspective look for the telltale shape W or M.

Identify Saturn near moon on August 2

On August 2, 2017, use the moon to locate the ringed planet Saturn as darkness falls. Miss ’em tonight? Try again tomorrow night.

Sagittarius? Here’s your constellation

How to find Sagittarius on August evenings, plus the lore and science of this constellation.

Moon near star Antares on August 1

Antares is a red star in the south each summer. It was considered the Fire Star of the ancient Chinese.

Watch for Delta Aquarid meteors

The Delta Aquarid shower is long and rambling and overlaps with the Perseids. Since the moon will be bright during this year’s Perseid peak, this weekend is a great time to watch meteors.

Epsilon Lyrae is the famous Double Double star

Binoculars reveal that Epsilon Lyrae is a double star – two stars in one. A telescope shows that each component star is also a double. The double double star!

How to find Delta Aquarid radiant point

How to spot the radiant point for the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, going on now. Plus … why meteors in annual showers have radiant points.

Awesome beauty of the Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula – aka Messier 16 or M16 – is home to several famous structures, including the Pillars of Creation and the Stellar Spire.

See the constellation Scutum the Shield

Scutum has only has 4 stars that make up the constellation outline, but it’s noticeable in a dark sky because a rich region of the Milky Way is behind it.