"A Wonderfully Weird Summer Night Wonder, and: How to Find It Easy As Pie"

Scheduled air date: 1998 Jul 20-26

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Facing East just after dark on any clear evening this month, look for the large asterism known as the Summer Triangle.  Away from city lights, you'll also be able to see the Milky Way passing from the Northern to Southern horizons.

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Altair—the southernmost star of the Summer Triangle—rotates in an astonishing 6-1/2 hours!  Compare that with our Sun, which, at about one-third smaller than Altair, takes over 25 days to make a rotation.  Its rapid rotation has caused Altair's equatorial diameter to swell to twice its polar diameter.

 

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.


Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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