We are finally at the time of year when the Milky Way starts to make its return. With the sun setting so late, the sky doesn’t get completely dark until 10:30 pm or so. But when it does, and if viewing conditions are dark enough, the Summer Milky Way can be seen stretching from north to south in the eastern sky.
If you follow the Milky Way into the southern sky, it seems to get a little brighter and wider. That’s because the direction you’re looking into is the center of our galaxy, where the central bulge makes the appearance of the Milky Way more prominent. This is also where you’ll run into one of the most recognizable constellations in the summer sky – Scorpius the scorpion. It’s curved shape (body and curving tail) are easy to trace out. At its heart is the bright red star Antares, which might look like Mars but it is truly a supergiant star that would engulf most of our solar system if we replaced the Sun with it.
We’ll be exploring many deep sky wonders in and around the Milky Way for this session of Gateway to the Stars. Join us this Saturday night, July 7 at 6:45pm in the Hansen Dome Theatre.