The dark, moonless evenings feature the brightest section of the Milky Way due south near 10:00 PM. We are viewing into the heart of our galaxy, where the density of stars is estimated to be up to one million times more dense than our skies, 25 thousand light years from the center.

One of the curious features in the Milky Way, next to the star Deneb, the least bright star in the Summer Triangle, is a patch of dark sky, known as the Northern Coal Sack. It is not an absence of stars, but rather a thick cloud of gas and dust blocking the light from more distant stars.

Our evening skies will be dark, inviting a fist look for the Perseid Meteor Shower, which extends from tonight through the 14th, peaking on the night if the 12th into the 13th. You might see some “non”-Perseid meteors as well, thanks to the tail end of a separate, longer-lasting meteor shower from late July, the not-so-famous Delta Aquariid meteors.