This Week's Targets and How to Find Them

  • Third Crescent Moon (lunar phase)
    • Visible West after sunrise on July 13th, until about midday-ish. Or visible late at night on July 12th, a few hours after sunset, if you're the staying-up-late type!
  • Hercules (constellation)
    • Find Vega and Arcturus, do hang-loose gesture starting at Vega and heading towards Arcturus. Where the end of your hang-loose gesture ends (22º), look for four bright stars forming a lopsided square. That's the body of Hercules and his arms and legs go out from there. Visible until about December.
  • Scorpius (constellation)
    • Way to the South, look for red star Antares which is the heart of the Scorpion. Head / claws are west of Antares. The rest of the constellation will likely be invisible to Canadians (and even the top part may be hard to see for those at Northern latitudes) but it curves around in a hook, sometimes referred to as "Maui's Fishhook" in Disney films and the Southern Hemisphere. Visible until about September.
  • Sagittarius (constellation)
    • Directly south, close to the horizon, there is a teapot! The teapot is the body of Sagittarius. At the moment it's close to Jupiter and Saturn so you can look for those two objects to find the teapot. (Bear in mind that eventually it won't be near Saturn and Jupiter anymore, since the planets move). Visible until about October
  • Mu Bootes (double star)
    • Use starhopping from last week (Arcturus) and look for the loop creating Bootes. The top star and the next one down to the East, Nekkar and Thiba, form a triangle with Mu Boo. Visible until about October
  • M13 (deep sky object)
    • Find Hercules' body and identify the two stars on the westward side (closer to sunset). Search the line between them. Closer to the northernmost star (about 2 pinky-finger-widths down) you'll see a fuzzy glob! That's M13. You may even be able to see this one without binoculars if you're in a dark sky area. Visible until about December
  • M8 (deep sky object)
    • Looks like steam rising from teapot spout, straight up from spout about 3 finger widths. Tricky to see from Northern latitudes, and Toronto or areas with light pollution to the South, because it is quite close to the horizon. Visible until about October.
  • Coathanger (deep sky object)
    • It's also known as Collinder 399 or Brocchi's Cluster. It's between Altair and Vega, about a closed fist's width up from Altair. It'll appear upside down. Visible until about January.


Happy observing!