Sky at a Glance 2022 July 23 – 30

Photo showing the location of four small constellation in the southeast night sky.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2022 July 23 – 30 ~by Curt Nason

They say it is the little things that count, and if you are counting constellations there are four little ones lined up in the southeast toward late evening. Start your search with the Summer Triangle, which is composed of the brightest star in each of three constellations: Vega in Lyra the Lyre, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle. Sagitta the Arrow is a distinct shape between Altair and Albireo, which is at the head of Cygnus. The arrow, poisoned with the blood of the Hydra, is one of those shot by Hercules to kill the Stymphalian birds as his sixth Labour.

Between Sagitta and Albireo is obscure Vulpecula the Fox, which at one time was two constellations called the Little Fox and the Goose. Vulpecula is known best for having the binocular object M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, within its borders. Below Sagitta is the eye-catching Delphinus the Dolphin, seen leaping out of the watery constellations that hug the horizon below. The dolphin was given its place of honour in the sky by Poseidon for convincing beautiful Amphitrite to be his wife. Below Delphinus and just off the snout of Pegasus the Flying Horse is Equuleus the Little Horse, the second smallest of the 88 constellations. Perhaps representing the foal Celeris, an offspring or brother of Pegasus, it was one of the 48 constellations included in Claudius Ptolemy’s second-century map of the sky.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 5:51 am and sunset will occur at 8:59 pm, giving 15 hours, 8 minutes of daylight (5:58 am and 9:01 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 5:59 am and set at 8:51 pm, giving 14 hours, 52 minutes of daylight (6:06 am and 8:54 pm in Saint John).

The slim waning crescent Moon is near Venus on Tuesday and new Moon occurs on Thursday. Saturn is rising now in civil twilight, a few weeks shy of opposition. Jupiter reaches its first stationary point on Friday, about to begin nearly four months of retrograde motion. Mars is brightening slowly to the east of Jupiter while Mercury is lost in the evening twilight. On mornings next weekend early risers might catch some shooting stars from the South Delta Aquariid meteor shower.

Join members of the provincial astronomy club, RASC NB, at the Mount Carleton Star Party on July 29 – 30. On Sunday evening at 8 pm, tune in to the Sunday Night Astronomy Show via the Facebook page or YouTube channel of Astronomy by the Bay.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *