The southern skies welcome the brightest section of the Milky Way sliding up from the horizon, accompanied by the pattern of stars called “the Teapot”, with a triangular lid, a pot underneath, and a handle attached on the left, with the spout on the right. The bright portion of the Milky Way sits at the center of our galaxy.

The two brightest stars in our summer skies – Arcturus, high in the south, and Vega, high in the east – guide you to a much fainter star group, Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. Look one third of the way from Arcturus toward Vega, and you will see a faint semi-circle of stars, with a brighter one in the middle. This is Gemma, the jewel in the crown.

Just after midnight, the moon will rise in the east-southeast as a waning gibbous. Hot on its trail will be the planet Saturn, rising just to the left of the moon a few minutes later. Through the predawn hours, Saturn will give the appearance of gaining on the moon, but won’t quite succeed, before the rising sun causes the disappearance of both.