Stargazing: The summer triangle and 'supermoon'

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Bright stars and warm nights make August one of the better months of the year for stargazing. Tonight, the brilliant star shining directly overhead is Vega, the brightest star in Lyra the Harp. Vega is one of three bright stars that outline a large triangle that rides high in the southern sky through the summer and into the autumn.

The triangle also includes the stars Deneb, in Cygnus the Swan. Deneb is also overhead and about 20 degrees to the east or left of Vega. About 40 degrees below Deneb sits Altair, the brightest star in Aquila, the Eagle. These three stars outline the asterism known as the Summer Triangle.

If you missed last month's close "supermoon," you still have two more chances this summer to see this event, Sunday and Sept. 9. Sunday's full moon, however, is the closest and largest of the year. Keep in mind, the term "supermoon" comes from astrology, and the slight difference in size and brightness is hard to discern.


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