It's the center from which the annual Perseid meteor shower, a midsummer spectacle in the Northern Hemisphere, radiates. Find yourself to a really dark spot and check it out! This is not uncommon. These are distinctive star patterns that lie within constellations. These surviving fragments are known as meteorites. This website uses tracking cookies to improve user experience. Just south of Orion’s Belt you should be able to see a cluster of stars in what looks like a cloud, which is known as the Orion Nebula. The Milky Way Over Monument Valley, 2012. BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter! Our monthly sky map does not show the entire sky which would be almost impossible. Does the Orion constellation have bright stars? East Sussex, The legend on the map always tells you which direction you should facing, based on midnight viewing. In the case of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, every August, Earth encounters debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. Within this huge spiral structure, Earth and the Sun and its planets are located in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way (called the Orion Arm) which lies about two-thirds of the way out from the center of the Galaxy (and one third from the center of the galaxy). Here at Blue Forest HQ we have our fingers crossed for cloudless nights over the coming week, as the Perseid meteor shower will be making its spectacular annual journey across the skies of the northern hemisphere. Here’s how to see the Milky Way in the summer night sky. It glows with the combined light of billions upon billions of faraway stars, each too faint for our eyes to resolve. Look for a night when the Moon is young or it’s a New Moon. Unlike a meteors shower or other event, the Milky Way is on display every night of the year, and it’s especially grand in late summer. Now look north, towards the outer edge of the Milky Way; the stars are less dense. The best time to watch for the Perseids is late at night, although astronomers haven’t ruled out the possibility that the meteors could appear earlier in the evenings between 11th and 14th August. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. A typical suburban neighborhood won’t be sufficiently dark. This month, we talk about one of the night sky’s most magnificent sights—the summer Milky Way, which is the galaxy in which our Sun and all of its planets are located. Remember that your eyes need about 20 minutes to adjust to the dark. TN5 6JR. And then just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! What you may see is a whitish, cloudy—dare we say, milky—arc sretching across the night sky from South to Northeast. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal The map is accurate for any location at a so-called “mid northern” latitude. Perseus in August. This constellation is handy for finding other interesting points in the sky. Named after Orion the hunter, a famous figure in Greek mythology, Orion’s Belt is made up of three stars in a row and rivals the Big Dipper as one of the most well-known constellations. The difference of barred spirals are the 2 connecting arms consisting of star regions. The clearest skies appear just after a cold front passes through. From our vantage point within the galaxy, the Milky Way appears as a huge, shimmering cloud of light arching from the southern horizon to high overhead. When getting your bearings under the stars, it’s often easiest to spot an asterism and use it as a guide to finding the parent constellation. Credit: Bill Saxton NRAO, AUI, NSF; Robert Hurt NASA. As you turn your head from side to side, you will be looking in the compass direction indicated by those numbers.