The Milky Way arcs across the sky from the northeast, where the bright star Capella is rising, running through the Summer Triangle overhead, and then is anchored in the southwest with the setting star Antares, the red star marking the heart of Scorpio, the Scorpion.

The dark skies near the new Moon are always rewarding for the faint stars now exposed. Yet, despite their lack of luster, these lesser components are by far the most numerous. Consider that on a dark, clear night you can see up to 3000 stars, yet only 35 are as bright, or brighter, than the stars of the Big Dipper.

If you look straight up at 9:45 PM this evening, within the gossamer light of the Milky Way shines the star Deneb, the least bright of the trio of stars forming the Summer Triangle. In spite of its comparative brightness, it actually reigns as a stellar powerhouse, emitting 200 thousand times more light than the Sun!