Well folks, I have not been able to head out and observe due to the wonderful Florida summer weather. That is the only bad part of living here, that and the Florida State Bird-the Skeeter. But anywho, if you have some clear sky–download this map and head out:
Look overhead for the three bright stars: Vega, Deneb, and Altair. These three stars for the Summer Triangle. Vega is in Lyra that Lyre, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan. Cygnus appears to be flying down the Milky Way toward our campground that we mentioned a few weeks back. South of there is Altair, the brightest star in Aquila the Eagle. On a dark clear night the Milky Way divided into two parts starting up in Cygnus and run through Aquila. This division is just some of the dark nebulae that exist in our galaxy, hiding more distant stars in this area.
A little aside….
Below is a photograph taken in October 1995 of northern Cygnus. The glow to the right in the photo is the lights of Lake Wales, Florida some 10 miles to the west. Some four or five months later a new mall opened and the lights from the parking lot significantly brightened the western sky as seen from this location. I have not been to the site since 2009 for good reason: the northern sky is now brightened by a new motel complex outside the gate of the park. When the weather and time permits, I have another location that I want to return to: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. I will tell you about my observing experiences there next time…..
Most recent forum comments:
- RV, come to Utah sometime. I guarantee dark skies, and good viewing most nights of the year.
- I have a better one of the North America saved on my computer. I may post it later on.
I am making some plans to head to a dark site on the first of October if time allows--also if weather allows.
- Looks like that photograph caught the North American Nebula, that red splotch. While I can't make out much detail that should also be the Pelican Nebula next to it east of where Florida is.