The spacecraft New Horizons passed by Pluto and its moons on this date in 2015, sending back amazing images of a surprisingly changeable surface, covered with regions of frozen nitrogen glaciers, methane craters, and water-ice mountains, as well as a thin but extensive nitrogen-rich atmosphere.
High in the east-southeast at 10:30 are three bright stars which make up the Summer Triangle. The highest and brightest is Vega, lower and to the left is Deneb, and lowest and more toward the south is Altair. Altair comes from an Arabic word meaning the “flying or soaring eagle”.
High in the east-northeast is the star Deneb, the tail of Cygnus, the Swan. Deneb is Arabic for “the tail”, though Arabs described this region as the “chicken”. While Deneb is less bright than the other members of the Summer Triangle – Vega overhead, and Altair much lower toward the south – it is actually thousands of times brighter, but farther away.