Nights are warm and short during July — so take advantage of the darkness for stargazing while you can.

Finding Scorpius in July

The farther south you live, the easier it is to see the entire sweeping tail and stinger of Scorpius on July evenings. Use Antares, the bright star marking its heart, as a guide.

Sky & Telesope diagram

Throughout July, you can find Venus low in the west after sunset and Saturn well up in the south. The ringed planet is not far from Spica, anchor star for the constellation Virgo, the Maiden. High above them is the very bright star Arcturus.

Rising up in the east is a constellation that really looks like its namesake. Scorpius has a bright reddish heart (the star Antares), a well-defined head and body, and a long curving tail with a stinger at the end.

Not far from the stinger is a star cluster that you can see by eye. Although cataloged by Charles Messier in the 18th century, it was actually seen and recorded in ancient Roman times.

To find out more about these and other sky sights, download this month's 6¾-minute-long audio audio sky tour.


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