We love having a literate astronomer on staff at CMC. Professor Jimmy Westlake teaches astronomy and physics at Colorado Mountain College, Steamboat Springs. His “Celestial News” column appears weekly in the Steamboat Today newspaper.

Drawing of night sky highliighting Scorpio

immy Westlake/courtesy
Look south around 10 p.m. this week to spot the planets Mars and Saturn among the stars of the constellation Scorpius, the Scorpion. Use your binoculars to explore the red supergiant star Antares and star clusters M6, M7 and M40.

There aren’t many constellations that resemble the objects or creatures for which they are named. Scorpius, the Scorpion, is a delightful example of one that does. This celestial scorpion scurries across our southern sky on summer evenings, so this month is prime time for scorpion hunting.

As soon as it gets dark in the evening, step outside and face south. This year, the southern sky is dominated by two bright planets. Mars is the brighter of the two, and Saturn the fainter. Click for full article.