How to Locate Vega in the Night Sky
According to the Space.com website, Vega is the night sky’s fifth brightest star. The star lies in the constellation Lyra, a small quadrilateral of dim stars except for Vega. Lyra represented a harp to the ancient Greeks. and Vega is its most prominent feature. Vega is only 25 light years from Earth, meaning that the light it emits takes 25 years to travelacross the vast reaches of space to your eyes. Often mistaken for the North Star, Vega is not a difficult star for you to locate.
Look directly overhead in Summer during August and early September and you will spot Vega. The fact that it will easily be the brightest star straight over your head is what makes many mistake it for the North Star. In truth, the North Star, Polaris, marks that point in the sky directly over the Earth’s North Pole. Vega will have a slight bluish tint to it as it gleams in the heavens.
Search the nearby sky for two other bright stars that will complete an asterism known as the Summer Triangle. An asterism is a grouping of stars that form a familiar shape or pattern. Move your eyes from Vega to the east and you will observe Deneb in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Looking southwards from Deneb you will encounter Altair, the bright star highlighting the constellation Aquila the Eagle. These three form a triangle you cannot miss, as no other really bright stars lie in that part of the sky.
Walk outside in December right before Christmas at five in the morning and look to the Northeast to see Vega. The star will just be visible as it comes up over the horizon. If you live in mid-northern latitudes, on a par with such cities as Chicago and New York in the United States, you have the ability to see Vega at some juncture during every night of the year. Remember that the position of stars in the sky does not change. The always-rotating Earth moves to different point of its orbit about the Sun, which makes the stars seem to move in the sky even though it is you as an observer on the ground that actually moves.
Face east in late April around two in the morning to see Vega, along with the rest of the Summer Triangle. Vega will not yet be straight overhead as it will be later in the Summer. Another star that outshines even Vega will be nearly in that position. This will be Arcturus, in Bootes the Herdsman.
Gaze to the west-northwest in October around ten at night to see Vega. No longer right over your head, Vega will still be easily visible over the horizon. If you live in southern latitudes, Vega will stay out of sight below the western horizon for a longer period than if you were further north. However, you can still see Vega in the west at this time of year, even in places like Houston and Atlanta.
"Vega: The Arc Light of Summer Nights and the Apex of the Sun's Way"
Scheduled air date: 2003 Jul 21-27
The Summer Triangle—comprised of the bright stars Vega, Altair and Deneb—is prominent in the night sky throughout the Summer. For the next couple of weeks, it appears high in the eastern sky at dusk, reaches the meridian at about 1:00 AM, and then is high in the western sky at dawn.
Lyra (the Harp)
Lyra contains the bright star "Vega", which is part of an asterism the "summer triangle". One of the best ways to find Vega in the middle latitudes is to find Arcturus (by following the handle of the Big Dipper as previously mentioned) and waiting for a time or season that Arcturus is about halfway between the western horizon and your zenith (straight up). When Arcturus is in that position, Vega will be the very bright star almost straight up (at your zenith). At the time of this writing (later September), Vega would be straight up about 8:00 PM. You will see two other bright stars nearby forming a recognizable and quite bright "triangle". The trailing one in the eastward direction is Deneb, and the more southern one is Altair.
The harp symbolizes praise prepared for our Conqueror. Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion. (Psalm 65:1)
Psalm 21:12-13 says, Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows [like Sagittarius] upon thy strings against the face of them. Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.. The star Vega means "He shall be exalted".
Other star names in this tiny constellation, Beta and Gamma Lyre are called Shelyuk and Sulaphat, which mean "an eagle" and "springing up" respectively. The picture is that of an eagle rising up as in praise. This constellation is also depicted as an eagle or hawk in the Zodiac of Dendarah as the enemy of the serpent. Its name is Fent-kar, which means "the serpent ruled". The Hebrew name indicates an eagle as well. In all instances, the eagle is depicted as ascending in triumph and praise. So in one word we can wrap up this constellation as PRAISE.
Although we are only halfway done with Sagittarius, we will stop here for now since the next two constellations associated with Sagittarius, Ara (the altar) and Draco (the dragon), deserve a little more attention, especially since Draco is an interesting constellation in and of itself worthy of a little more study.
Thanks to: http://extraterrestrials.ning.com[img][/img]