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Skywatch: Look for the dragon this week

Draco is a constellation that can be seen all year long.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When we get some clearing enjoy the shorter night but warmer temperatures that come with stargazing in the summer months.

The first quarter moon arrives Tuesday morning at 10:48 a.m. Look for the half moon in the evening, it sets in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Look for the dragon this week. Draco is a circumpolar constellation meaning it never sets because of its location around one of Earth’s celestial poles. 

It’s the eighth largest constellation in the night sky. In mythology, it guarded the gardens of the Hesperides. After Hercules killed it while performing one of his 12 labors the dragon was cast to the heavens. 

It contains the star Thubin which would have been the north star when the pyramids were being built.

On Saturday morning Venus and Uranus will be in conjunction. If you have an optical aid you can use Venus to help you find the ice giant. 

While you’re at it see if you can find all five “naked eye” planets as they’ll all be in the same sky in the mornings this week. 

Mercury will be the hardest to spot as it’s closest to the horizon. Then if you look from the east to the southern sky you can find Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn each planet higher than the last. 

Also, if you have that telescope look for Neptune between Jupiter and Saturn then look down at the Earth after you find it. That way you can say you saw all the planets in the solar system at once. 

Happy hunting!

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