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'Summer Triangle' can be seen in the sky this week

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Moreover, since this area of the sky is far removed from the zodiac, where the bright planets roam, it does not have any strange "stars" temporarily altering its familiar pattern, as Mars has done to Leo over the past few weeks.

Who named the Summer Triangle?

So who was the first to coin the moniker "Summer Triangle?"

In doing some research, it turns out that this celestial designation appears to be of relatively recent origin. Romanian astronomer Oswald Thomas (1882-1963) described Vega, Altair and Deneb as "Grosses Dreieck" (Great Triangle) in the late 1920s and "Sommerliches Dreieck" (Summerly Triangle) in 1934.

In the classic New Handbook of the Heavens, (McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1941), authors Hubert J. Bernhard, Dorothy A. Bennett and Hugh S. Rice do speak of Vega, Altair and Deneb as a "... brilliant triangle composed of three of the 20 brightest stars in the heavens."

But in a twist, the triangle is designated not as a summer star pattern. Instead, it is described under the chapter "Autumn and Winter Stars," since, as the authors point out, the "big triangle" passes overhead on September evenings.

That is indeed the case, although it is only during the summer months of June and July that the triangle is visible for the entire night, from dusk until dawn.

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