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This Week: Locate These 4 Constellations Near The Summer Triangle

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This Week: Locate These 4 Constellations Near The Summer Triangle

In the evening sky this week, are four small, faint constellations spread out near and within the Summer Triangle. The Triangle itself is easy enough to find, being composed of three of the brightest stars in the sky (Vega, Altair and Deneb) and passing almost directly overhead between 9 and 11 p.m. local daylight time.

First, about halfway between the stars Altair and Albireo (the star marking the beak of Cygnus, the Swan), are four stars marking Sagitta, the Arrow. To the east are four stars forming a diamond with a fifth to the south. This is Delphinus, the Dolphin, sometimes called “Job’s Coffin.”

About as far to the east of Delphinus as the Arrow is west, is a very faint trapezoid marking Equuleus, the Little Horse, or Foal. Yet a fourth constellation lying between the first three and Cygnus is Vulpecula, the Little Fox.

Sagitta and Delphinus have almost always been recognized as an arrow and a dolphin by most cultures. Hipparchus placed the Foal near the head of Pegasus.

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Johannes Hevelius invented the Little Fox in the mid 1600s, known originally as “The Fox and the Goose.” Possibly the fox ate the goose (Anser) because now it’s known simply as the Little Fox.

Delphinus, Sagitta, Equuleus, and Vulpecula. By Roberto Mura – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7029234

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