Summer is the best time to learn to appreciate the sky. Its warm nights invite us to be in the street and let us be hypnotized by the sky full of stars. In addition, there are several astronomical events that take place in these months.
There are astronomical phenomena, such as the perseids, which take place every year and yet we know little about them. The same goes for the numerous constellations that night after night are upon us (nothing more and nothing less than 88), and that very few lucky ones know how to identify.
Tips to see the stars this summer
If this summer you want to encourage yourself to know more about our sky, here are some astronomical tricks to make the experience as rewarding as possible:
- Choose the time and place well: it is essential to locate a good place, as well as the moment. The weather conditions will condition your astronomical plan.
- Stay away from light pollution: it is the only way that the sky is clean and we can observe as many stars as possible. For this reason, full moon nights are not the best for stargazing.
- The best thing is that you lie down. No extra instrument is necessary. All you have to do is lie down on the ground and start observing. Otherwise we would get tired of looking up and we would end up hurting our necks.
- Always search from right to left, counterclockwise. The daily rotation of our planet makes us have the sensation that the celestial vault rotates and hence the same stars are not seen at ten at night as at four in the morning. Thus, as the hours pass, there are stars that appear in the east (or what is known as sunrise) and others that are set in the west (sunset). Conclusion: those on our right are no longer visible before those on the left side.
- Orient yourself by locating the Polar Star: To make a good observation, it is important to be well oriented. To do this you must look for the Pole Star, and to achieve it, you will first have to locate the Big Dipper (which is known as the Chariot) and then unite the stars at the end of the Chariot towards the more open side. That is the direction that Pole Star is pointing.
- Constellations do not form pictures: At least not like those that appear in astronomy books. The stars shine with different intensity and there are constellations in which only one or two are distinguished. In the case of Sagittarius, what is distinguished is not the archer that gives the constellation its name, but the asterism that it contains inside and is known as La Tetera.
You must also bear in mind that we do not see “the same sky” in all parts of the planet. In fact, there are stars that are seen from the northern hemisphere that can never be seen in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. In addition, there is another issue, and that is that we do not always see the same constellations, they move and change, depending on the season of the year:
- Summer: Lyre, Swan, Hercules
- ORtone: Pegasus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia
- Winter: Orion, Taurus, Gemini
- Spring: Leo, Virgo, The Cup