"How to See a Super Special Sky Show Right After the Fireworks on the 4th Of July"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Jun 24-30

If you happen to be watching fireworks under a clear sky on July 4th (Independence Day in the United States), the display will be enhanced by the presence of the "Evening Star"—the brilliant planet Venus.  Venus will appear in the western sky around sunset, and will set a couple of hours later.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes.)

After the fireworks, look at the night sky around midnight and, weather permitting, you should be able to see two great Summer constellations—Scorpius and Sagittarius—just above the Southern horizon.  The bright orange star Antares can be seen at the heart of Scorpius; it is a giant at approximately 700 times the diameter of our own Sun!  If you are away from bright city lights, you might also notice The Milky Way (which is a portion of our own galaxy) appearing like a faint cloud extending from the Southern horizon, high overhead, and onward to the Northern horizon.
(Shown at midnight of July 4th for mid-Northern latitudes.)

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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