The July Night Sky

To learn the July night sky we begin with a computer generated map of the sky. This map (below) shows the stars as tiny spots of light. The size of the spot indicates the star's brightness.

Chart of July Sky

This map shows the stars you would see if you looked south on a clear July night at about 8 PM from most of the US. The left edge of the image is about southeast. The right edge is about southwest. The top of the image is about overhead.

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 Sagittarius 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.

A few other constellations are shown, for example, Delphinus the dolphin. Can you see why it got its name?

You can see that only a few of the constellations look much like what they are called, for example,Scorpius, Delphinus, Corona Borealis, and Lyra.

Copyright T. Arny, UMass, Amherst, MA, USA 01003
Tom Arny
Last modified: Tue Sep 24 18:14:43 EDT 2002