With the waning of the Moon, now is an excellent time for star gazing... that is, if you can see past the summertime haze, and city lights! Let's hope so.
This month, Sagittarius takes over center stage for the evening hours right after sunset.
Last month, I showed you how to find Scorpius. It has now progressed into the due South position, and will serve to show us the location of Sagittarius. After finding the great fish hook of Scorpius, look a little to the East. The next really bright object that you see is Jupiter. It is presently within the constellation of Sagittarius. Immediately to the West of Jupiter you will see a formation of stars that look like a 'teapot' (remember asterisms?). That is Sagittarius... well not all, but enough to know that you have found it.
To the ancient Greeks, Sagittarius was not just the Archer. He was the Centaur - who shot the Scorpion - who killed Orion - who... oh, never mind. Simply follow the top edge of the 'teapot's spout' (the arrow), and you will see that it points directly at Scorpius. There really is justice. The gods didn't allow Orion to go unavenged. *G*
However, myth is not the best thing about Sagittarius. When we look at Sagittarius, we are looking into the center of the Milky Way. The only reason that there is not an overwhelming glow from there is because there is so much dust between it and us. There is also a great, big, Black Hole there... eating, and eating... Cheery thought, huh? But, let your heart not be troubled. It is more than thirty thousand light years away. Even your grandchildren don't have to worry.
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