Exploring Our Skies

Aquarius

Aquarius

Helix Nebula, NGC 7293. Photo © Dreamstime.com. Aquarius is a sprawling constellation that stretches across nearly 40° of the southern sky on autumn evenings. This constellation lies south of the...

Aquila

Aquila

Barnard's E. Photo © CC by SA-3.0 Aquila, the Eagle, is a mid-sized constellation that lies right along the summer Milky Way.The brightest star in Aquila is Altair. Two somewhat dimmer stars lie on...

Lyra

Lyra

Ring Nebula. Photo © NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScl/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Lyra, the Harp, is a small constellation that lies almost straight overhead on August evenings in the...

Ophichus

Ophichus

M12. Photo © Scott Rosen. Ophiuchus is a large constellation that lies high in the southern sky on midsummer evenings. This constellation lies just north of the constellation Scorpius and just west...

Draco

Draco

Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543). Photo © Scott Rosen. Draco, the Dragon, is a sprawling circumpolar constellation that wraps around the Little Dipper. The Dragon’s head is a small group of four stars...

Canes Venatici

Canes Venatici

Canes Venatici is a small constellation, consisting of only two stars. However, it is quite easy to find due to its location just south of the Big Dipper. Like many of the surrounding...

Ursa Major

Ursa Major

Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is a large constellation in the northern circumpolar region of the sky. Ursa Major is known best for the Big Dipper, which makes up the northeastern part of the...

Auriga

Auriga

IC 405, the Flaming Star Nebula, is an emission/reflection nebula in Auriga. While beautiful in photographs, it is quite faint and difficult to visually observe. Photo © Shaphan Shank. Auriga is not...

Cygnus

Cygnus

Cygnus, the Swan, is one of the best-known constellations of late summer and fall. This constellation lies high overhead after dark at mid-northern latitudes during October, although it has already...

Delphinus, Sagitta, and Vulpecula

Delphinus, Sagitta, and Vulpecula

The Summer Triangle, a large triangle of bright stars (Deneb, Vega, and Altair), lies straight overhead on September evenings in the United States. Delphinus, Sagitta, and Vulpecula all lie in or...

Sagittarius

Sagittarius

Sagittarius, the Archer, lies straight above the southern horizon on August evenings at mid-northern latitudes. The band of the Milky Way runs through the western part of Sagittarius; in fact, the...

Scorpius

Scorpius

Scorpius, the Scorpion, is one of the most distinctive constellations in the night sky. On July evenings, it sits just above the southern horizon at mid-northern latitudes. Antares, the brightest...