Before Fall See The Top 10 Summer Sky Objects

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1.Our Milky Way Galaxy
Summertime is undoubtedly the best time to observe the beautiful Milky Way. With a good pair of binoculars or a telescope you can now observe millions of sparkling little stars that make up this glowing, irregular belt of luminosity.

2.Albireo: Blue and Gold
Without question, this is one of if not the most beautiful double-stars in the night sky. Located in the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan, Albireo supposedly marks the swan's beak.

A small telescope or even a pair of steadily held binoculars will readily split Albireo into two tiny points of light of beautiful contrasting colors: the brighter one a rich yellowish-orange, the other a deep azure blue, both placed very close together.

3. The Coat Hanger

Most amateur astronomers have heard of such beautiful open star clusters as the Pleiades, Hyades and the Beehive. Yet few have ever heard of the "Coat Hanger."

But if you turn your binoculars to the region of the sky roughly halfway between the bright stars Vega and Altair, you will discover this intriguing group of stars. It is not too far away from the Cowboy Boot of Vulpecula that was number 9 on our list.

4. A Cosmic Chrysanthemum

Several clouds of stars surrounded by a few dark regions for contrast can be seen with binoculars in the bright area of the Milky Way about halfway between the star Altair and the constellation of Sagittarius.

Four faint stars in a stretched-out diamond are about all that is visible of Scutum, the Shield. One of the Milky Way's great star clouds is also within Scutum.

6. The "Double-Double" Star

Back to the constellation of Lyra once again, this time for a look at another double-star. In fact, you could almost call this one "Nu Draconis squared."

Epsilon Lyrae is better known as the "double-double" star. Exceptionally good vision on a clear, dark night will reveal Epsilon as undoubtedly two tiny stars (designated Epsilon 1 and Epsilon 2) that are very close together.

7. Draco the Dragon

While most folks are familiar with the Big and Little Dipper, in the same region of the sky is a long, winding group of stars which portrays the mythological creature of a dragon named Draco, which during late evening hours is riding high above Polaris, the North Star.

8. A Ghostly Doughnut

The little constellation of Lyra is supposed to represent Apollo's harp. Six fainter stars form a little geometric pattern of a parallelogram attached at its northern corner to an equal-sided triangle. Vega gleams at the western part of the triangle. But tucked in this region is the acclaimed Ring nebula.

9. The Dumbbell

Sighted in wide-field binoculars or a telescope's viewfinder, Rice's cowboy boot pattern helps us locate the beautiful Dumbbell nebula (M27). Picked up with very low power as a glowing bubble encompassing two hazy patches of light; it assumes a dumbbell appearance in larger telescopes.

10.The Cowboy Boot

It's a fact: Thumb through most astronomy books or skywatching guides and you'll find all the accolades going to the most brilliant and splashy star patterns such as Orion, the Hunter, Scorpius, the Scorpion or (for southern observers), the region around Crux, the Southern Cross.

But while the small, faint star patterns usually get short shrift, there's one pattern I always look for, partly because it serves as an excellent gage for determining the quality of the night sky and also because it serves as a "pointer" to one of the summer's best deep-sky objects.

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