The August Night Sky Overhead

This map differs from the others in this exercise. It shows the late summer night sky looking overhead. This map (below) shows the stars as tiny spots of light. The size of the spot indicates the star's brightness.

Chart of August Sky

This map shows the stars you would see if you looked approximately straight up on a clear late August night at about 8 PM from most of the US.

The orange bar at the bottom is about the width of your spread hand at arms length and may help give you a sense of scale.

If you move the mouse over the map, the outline of some of the constellations appear along with their names and the names of a few of the brighter stars.

Now move the mouse off the map. Can you recall where Cygnus lies and what its shape is? (Move the mouse back to refresh your memory.)

Work though the constellations and stars listed below, noting where each is with respect to the others and how it looks. For each, first look at the marked chart and then find it on the unmarked chart.

You may notice a red line running from the handle of the Big Dipper (in the upper right of the chart). It points approximately to the star Arcturus. A way to remember this is that you "arc" along the handle of the Big Dipper to the star ARCturus. (Arcturus has the same root meaning as "arctic" and is from the Greek word for "bear" (arctos). Arcturus gets its name because it is the chases the Great Bear, Ursa Major, to which the Big Dipper belongs..

Copyright T. Arny, UMass, Amherst, MA, USA 01003
Tom Arny
Last modified: Tue Sep 24 18:17:24 EDT 2002