Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society

Facing South, look to your right (West), and you will see the bright star Arcturus. The really bright star overhead is Vega. Left of Vega, you’ll see another bright star–Deneb. And below Vega, you’ll see the bright star Altair. These three stars make up the Summer Triangle. In the skymap below, you’ll see these three stars connected with a dotted line to show the triangle Note the difference in color between Arcturus (red) and Vega (blue).

To your left (East), you’ll see the planet Saturn well up in the sky. Jupiter will be rising, so it’s to the left and below Saturn. It will be low in the sky as the sun sets, then rise higher as time passes.

Here is a list of things you should be able to see in Fall with just ordinary binoculars (7 x 35).

You can use this diagram as a guide. It can be downloaded at The orientation for the map is set for South, with the middle of the circle representing straight overhead. Turn the map upside down when looking North.

The larger the blob on the map, the brighter the object will appear in the sky–note the magnitude legend at the bottom right of the map. Contrary to intuition, the higher the magnitude number, the dimmer the object appears.

ISS (International Space Station passes)

Will the ISS make a pass over Chapel Hill tonight?