See the Summer Triangle asterism after sunset on Wednesday (August 31)

Watch summer’s favorite asterism rise above the eastern horizon just after sunset tonight (August 31).

The Summer Triangle asterism (a general term for a group of stars) consists of three bright white stars from three separate constellations: Deneb in the constellation Cygnus Cygnus, Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, and Altair in the constellation Aquila Aquila. . When combined in the night sky, these three stars form a triangle, visible high overhead all night.

Although this star pattern is an annual feature of the northern summer sky and remains visible until the end of December, it is especially noticeable in July and August – so now is the perfect time to catch it!

Related: Night Sky August 2022: What You Can See Tonight [maps]

At the end of August, when the sky darkens, the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair are the first to appear. The brightest star in the group (and the brightest star in the summer sky) is Vega at magnitude 0.03, followed by Altair at magnitude 0.75, located on the bottom right. Deneb shines somewhat less brightly on the lower left at magnitude 1.25.

Vega and Altair are relatively close, only 25 and 17 light years from the Sun, respectively. Meanwhile, Deneb is a staggering 2,600 light-years away. According to geophysicist and amateur astronomer Chris Vaughan, who oversees the night sky calendar, despite such a large distance, Deneb shines so brightly because of its greater luminosity.

The summer triangle is clearly visible in the night sky with the naked eye. And under clear dark skies, you can even see the Milky Way galaxy between Vega and Altair and across Deneb. The trio will land in the west as dawn begins to dawn.

If you’re looking for a telescope or binoculars to observe the Summer Triangle, our guides to the best binocular deals and the best telescope deals can help. Our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses will also help you prepare for your next skywatching spectacle on your own.

Editor’s Note: If you have photographed the Summer Triangle and would like to share it with readers, please send your photos, comments, your name and location to spacephotos@.

Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13 (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or on facebook (will open in a new tab).

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