With the arrival of the second summer season of the year in the northern hemisphere, the night sky shows us a new face.
This is how the presence of the call “Summer Triangle” and four of the most important planets of the solar system in the firmament, invite astronomical observers to live new experiences.
If you are under a clear sky you can see the “Summer Triangle” so named because it appears around this time of year.
The “Summer Triangle” is an asterism or pseudo-constellation that is formed by the presence of three bright stars from the northern hemisphere of the celestial sphere.
This imaginary triangle formed by the stars Vega, Altair and Deneb, it is visible during the boreal summer months and it is considered one of the most fascinating astronomical shows of this season, which you cannot miss.
Vega, Altair and Deneb are very bright and beautiful blue-white stars that shine high in the sky of the northern hemisphere.
The “Summer Triangle” is easily visible to the naked eye on a clear night and it is one of the most visible figures in the sky during the summer months.
To locate the Summer Triangle in the sky, the following steps can be followed:
Locate Vega, the second brightest star in the sky of the northern hemisphere; look for Deneb, down (east) and to the left (north) of Vega; and observe Altair, from the constellation Águila, although this is not entirely bright, in the lower right part of the triangle.
The “Summer Triangle” it is visible in the northern hemisphere during the boreal summer months, from late spring to early fall and its peak is reached between July and August of each year
In other words, the “Summer Triangle” is visible approximately from June to September and for many it signals the arrival of summer.
Near the “Summer Triangle” you can observe other interesting celestial objects that you as an observer can enjoy:
There are the Milky Way, the constellation of Orion, the constellation of Scorpio, and the constellation of Sagittarius.
Although it is not specifically mentioned whether the ancient Greek astronomers were aware of the Summer Triangle, it is known that they viewed these stars as a swan and named it Cygnus. Furthermore, each of these stars is the brightest star in its constellation: Vega in Lyra, Deneb in Swan and Altair in Eagle
The name “Summer Triangle” originated in the 1920s, when Oswald Thomas, a British astronomer, referred to these stars as the “Great Triangle”.
In 1934, American astronomer Harlow Shapley popularized the term “Summer Triangle”.
On the other hand, for people who like to hunt planets, June is the right time to observe them.
According to information provided by NASA, throughout June, Mars and Venus can be seen every night after sunset.
Earth’s two neighbors will appear a little lower in the sky each day.
On the other hand, scientists indicate that large planets as Jupiter and Saturn can also be observed on this occasion.
Saturn will be visible all these nights around midnight, while Jupiter will appear as if it were following a couple of hours later.
If you want to observe the planets, don’t forget that unlike the stars, they do not twinkle, and this is one of the main characteristics to discover them in the sky.
Another aspect to take into account is that the so-called summer solstice will occur on June 21, considered the longest day of the year, because it rises much earlier and sets dark later in the northern hemisphere of the Earth.
While in the southern hemisphere the opposite occurs, and the shortest day of the year will occur, during the cool winter months.
It is known that the June summer solstice helped the ancient Greeks, 2,200 years ago, to understand the size of our planet with remarkable precision.
They were also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth’s axis, which, after all, is responsible for the solstices and the seasons themselves.