This Week In Astronomy

The Northern Milky Way
Early in the month, around 9 PM, the “Summer Triangle” of three bright stars Vega, Deneb and Altair will be nearly overhead. In the northernmost portion of the Summer Triangle, you’ll see a bright portion of the northern Milky Way.
Planetary Nebulas in the Summer Triangle
Use a star chart and see how many of these planetary nebulas you can find in September: the famous Ring Nebula (M57) in the constellation Lyra; the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) in Vulpecula; and the “Blinking Planetary,” NGC 6826 in Cygnus. Not far outside the western boundary of the Summer Triangle is a small, but intensely colorful planetary nebula, NGC 6572.

The Galaxy Next Door
In early September, lurking low in the northeast sky is another galaxy, separate from our Milky Way – the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31). From a very dark area without a lot of light pollution, the core of M31 is visible with the unaided eye as a slightly fuzzy spot in the sky.