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Is Vega visible from Atlanta now?

  1. Apr 18, 2004 #1
    I am in Atlanta Georgia. Does anyone know if I would be able to see the star Vega from here during the summer months? I think it is in the constellation Lyra, but I dont know where to look for Lyra... The only constellation I can recognize is Orion. If Vega is visible from Atlanta, could anyone tell me what direction to look in, or perhaps its position relative to Orion?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2004 #2


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    during the summer months it is a cinch
    it should be nearly overhead on July 15 at midnight DST

    its latitude is 40 degrees North and it is real bright
  4. Apr 18, 2004 #3


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    but now is not summer months
    now is spring months
    and Lyra is to the east and north of you
    around, say, midnight DST, these nights

    here's a way
    go to a place where the trees and buildings dont block your eastern and northerly sky

    and around midnight find the Big Dipper

    the two stars of the bowl that are nearest the handle
    line up to kind of point towards Vega

    if you are facing N it should be on your right but pretty low still

    maybe somebody else can give better directions

    if you wait till June or July it should be a lot easier

    later in the summer if you can spot Cygnus (which looks like a big cross or a oldfashion paper and stick kite) then you can find it because it is near Cygnus
  5. Apr 18, 2004 #4


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    About today, Vega will rise at ~10:05 P.M. at azimuth (compass direction) of about 41 degrees; just a bit north of N.E.

    It transits about 6:15 A.M. and would be about 86 degrees altitude, almost directly overhead. Sets in daylight.

    These are appx. numbers since I didn't punch in exactly Atlanta, but should be close enough. Here is a bit more: http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/hr/7001.html
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2004
  6. Apr 18, 2004 #5
    Excellent Marcus and Labguy! Thank you! I will look for it!
  7. Jun 20, 2004 #6

    I saw the big dipper last night and was recalling your directions to Vega. Which are the two stars closest to the handle again? I know one of them for sure… the top left star that forms the bowl closest to the handle (When the handle is to your left). Is the second closest the top right of the bowl, or the bottom left of the bowl?

    After that question is answered could you then tell me which direction to follow such as… from bottom left to top left… or from top left to bottom left… or from top left to top right.. or from top right to top left…

    Thanks again,
  8. Jun 20, 2004 #7


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    around midnight tonight Vega should be on the meridian (the overhead northsouth line)

    when it crosses the meridian it should be a few degrees like 5 degrees north of the point exactly overhead

    maybe my directions using the big dipper were confusing
    what I meant was the two stars on the left side of the bowl:
    the line from the lowerleft bowlstar up thru the upperleft bowlstar (where the handle joins) and then continuing the line till it gets to Vega

    maybe one of the moderators like Phobos can give you more useful

    may the bright star vega be with you
    hope you find it and that it is a clear night
  9. Jun 20, 2004 #8


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    Vega is one of the 3 stars forming a large asterism called the summer triangle. On pretty much any summer night look up to the south, locate the 3 brightest stars in the sky (of course planets may confuse this!) they should form a large triangle (go figure.~^ what other shape could 3 stars from!). Vega, Deneb and Altair, Vega in Lyra will be nearly directly over head, Deneb is at the top of the cross in Cygnus, this is a large, slightly bent cross, which is easy to see, (once you find it!). Altair the 3rd star closest to the horizon is in Aquila the eagle. It is worth your while to get a star map an locate this summer constellations. No equipment is needed, just a star map, patience and some time at night.

    As far as the summer triangle goes it may be EASIER to find in moderately bad "seeing" conditions (ie city lights) The stars that compose this group are so bright that if you can see only 3 stars in the sky, it will be them. I have been high in the Cascade mountains on clear summer nights with absolutely perfect seeing, under these conditions I found it HARDER to spot stars and constellations simply because there were SO MANY stars that in the sky that the familiar patterns were lost. So for spotting the bright stars a bit of city light is not all bad.

    BTW, come Christmas time the cross of Cygnus is standing upright on the NW horizon.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2004
  10. Jun 21, 2004 #9


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    This is how I usually find it. Vega is the bright star sitting next to Cygnus/the northern cross (easy to find, even amid moderate light pollution).
  11. Jun 21, 2004 #10


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    You can go to:
    then click on "view sky chart" and enter your zip code and see the whole night sky for the time you pick. Click "enlarge" for a better view. It shows all mentioned above and Vega is labeled.

    There are dozens of other good ones available on the internet also, just do a search.
  12. Jun 22, 2004 #11
    Cool link Labguy! Thanks again Phobos, Integral and Marcus…

    Hopefully it will be clear tonight… weather has been lousy lately.
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