August Constellations with Star Chart
Nothing can beat stargazing on a warm August night. The star chart above can help you find the constellations that are visible in August. This month I’m going to focus on two late summer constellations – Sagittarius and Lyra.
Sagittarius can be found by looking to the south near the horizon. It is between Ophiuchus, which is to the east, and Capricorn which is to the west. The word Sagittarius is latin for “the archer” and it is often depicted as a centaur holding a bow. Sagittarius is a good constellation to find because is near the center of the Milky Galaxy and is home to several deep sky objects. Some of the notable deep sky objects include the Lagoon Nebula (M8) and the Triffid Nebula (M55). There are also seven globular star clusters and four open star clusters nearby.
Lyra is halfway between the The Big Dipper and Sagittarius and it will be nearly overhead as you look up. Lyra is also known as the Harp or Lyre. It’s principle star, Vega, is one of the brightest stars in the summer sky and is one of the corners of the Summer Triangle. So, if you can find Lyra, you will also find the Summer Triangle! Lyra is home to one of the best known of all planetary nebula, the Ring Nebula (M57).
August is also the month when the Perseid Meteor Shower occurs. This year, the Perseids will peak on August 13th.