Here’s what you can look for in Central Pa.

(WTAJ) – Global Sleep Under the Stars Night is Aug. 8, so get your sleeping bag ready folks!

With over 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, there will be plenty to see for everyone, according to NASA. Whether you’re planning to set up a tent, break out your sleeping bags or maybe just planning a late-night excursion to see all that shines in the sky, it’s a great day to look up!

According to National Day, the day was founded in 2020 as a way to encourage the world to experience the great outdoors.

If lucky, you may get the chance to see the Perseid meteor shower which is expected to peak on the mornings of Aug. 11, 12 and 13.

The Perseid meteors have been streaking through Earth’s atmosphere since mid-July and will continue through Sept. 1, according to Earth Sky. Perseid meteors tend to strengthen in number late at night and into the early morning hours. The shower is often best before dawn. 

The Perseid meteors are described as colorful and often leave trains behind them.

Here’s what you might be able to see tonight:

There will be six planets visible tonight so break out your binoculars!

  1. Mercury: You should be able to view this plant just after sunset
  2. Mars: You should be able to view ‘The red planet’ after sunset.
  3. Jupiter: The largest planet in the solar system will be most visible in the early morning on Wednesday, August 8, but you’ll be able to see the gas giant for more than 6 hours.
  4. Saturn: The 6th planet from the sun will be up for most of the night.
  5. Uranus: This ice giant will be most visible in the hours before sunrise. You may need binoculars to get a view of this planet.
  6. Neptune: The second ice giant will also be most visible in the hours before sunrise, but it is expected to be a little more faint. Hence the need for binoculars! ]

You can find more information about what you might be able to see here.

Be on the lookout for these familiar constellations:

  1. Sagittarius, also known as ‘the archer’

The Archer is the 15th largest constellation and is often seen in the southern sky, according to the Constellation Guide. Sagittarius is fairly easy to spot because its brightest stars form an asterism, a distinctive shape of a Teapot. From the Northern Hemisphere, the starlit trail of the Milky Way seems to bulge just before it reaches the Southern horizon. You can see this bulge in the night sky, and it marks the approximate location of the Milky Way’s center, which is within the boundaries of the constellation Sagittarius, according to Earth Sky.

2. Lyra, also known as Lyre is named after a musical instrument and associated with the myth of the Greek musician Orpheus.

Lyra contains Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky and the second brightest star in the northern hemisphere, according to the Constellation Guide. The easiest way to find Lyra is to look directly overhead on summer evenings in the Northern Hemisphere. The brightest star closest to the highest point on a summer night after the sky gets dark is Vega, according to Earth Sky. It will get closer to the highest point and pass through it as the evening turns to morning.

3. Aquila, also known as ‘the eagle’

This constellation represents the eagle of the god Jupiter in Roman mythology and its brightest star forms a prominent asterism known as the Summer Triangle, according to the Constellation Guide. Look for this constellation high in the southern sky and keep in mind the Summer Triangle. Altair is a bright star that forms its one corner, according to Earth Sky.

4. Pavo, also known as ‘the peacock’ and in Greek mythology the bird was sacred to Hera and she rode in a chariot drawn by the colorful creatures.

This constellation is visible in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ4) and can be seen at latitudes between +30° and -90°, according to the Constellation Guide. You can easily find it lying between AraApusOctansand Indus constellations.

5. Telescopium, also known as ‘the telescope’

The constellation was created by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century, according to Constellation Guide. Astronomers discovered the closest black hole to Earth, although it’s 1,000 light-years away, is located in the corner of Telescopium, according to Earth Sky.  You can find the Telescope by first finding brighter constellations above it. The Teapot of Sagittarius and the curving tail of Scorpius the Scorpion are the perfect places to start.

Whilst visibility for most constellations does depend on the time of year and the weather, you should be able to see at least these constellations for Global Sleep Under the Stars Night. However, there are hundreds of constellations so break out your camera or just take in nature’s beauty in celebration of the night.

What’s the weather supposed to be like?

According to Meteorologist, Christy Shields Tuesday night will be partial to mainly clear with temperatures in the 50s. Winds should be from the west between 10-15 mph. Due to the winds, we shouldn’t be dealing with much fog unless the winds diminish, but that doesn’t seem likely.

It should be an okay night for stargazing! 

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What constellations are you going to look for? Here’s what you can look for in Central Pa.

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