Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Mine Aquila’s deep-sky gems

Star clusters and planetary nebulae will keep you looking at the Eagle all night long.
RELATED TOPICS: OBSERVING | DEEP-SKY OBSERVING
ASYOA0820_10
Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
In summer, one of the easiest star patterns to find is the Summer Triangle. The constellation Aquila (pronounced ACK-will-uh) the Eagle is one of the three groups whose Alpha stars — in this case, Altair — make up that popular group. This easy-to-recognize constellation is visible from late spring through late autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. Its center lies at right ascension 19h37m and declination 3°30'.

Although the Eagle’s wingspan might not take up as much space as larger constellations like Hydra (1,303 square degrees), the 22nd-largest constellation still covers a respectable 652.47 square degrees, or about 1.58 percent of the night sky. Its size undercuts its visibility, however; it lies in the middle of the constellation ladder (41st) in terms of overall brightness.

The best date each year to see Aquila is July 14, when it stands opposite the Sun in the sky and reaches its highest point at local midnight. With respect to visibility, anyone living between latitudes 78° north and 71° south can see the entire figure at some time during the year. In fact, portions of it are visible worldwide.

Aquila contains no Messier objects or emission nebulae. Still, as you can see, there are plenty of targets within its borders for you to explore with your telescope. Good luck!
oa12
ESA/Hubble and NASA
NGC 6741

This planetary nebula, which observers call the Phantom Streak, lies 4.5° north-northwest of Lambda Aquilae. With a magnitude of 11.4 and a diameter of 6", it’s a tough catch through small scopes. Through an 11-inch telescope at high powers, the disk will look larger than the other similarly bright stars in the field of view.

0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
ADVERTISEMENT
FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ObservingforBeginners_MedRec
Observing the night sky is a fun and easy activity that anyone can do, but getting started can be daunting for beginners.