Evening sky in JULY 2014
The 88 official constellations we recognize today are areas named mostly after traditional patterns prominent within their borders. The largest constellation, Hydra, the Water Snake, can be seen in the western sky. Alphard, a bright star close to its head is near the horizon with fainter stars depicting its body as it twists and curls upwards. Nearby we find the Crater and Corvus, the Cup and the Crow respectively. According to Greek mythology, Apollo threw the Snake, Cup and Crow into the sky. Almost directly overhead is the bright star, Antares, a red supergiant at the "heart" of the Scorpion (Scorpius). If it were placed at the centre of our Solar System, its outer surface would lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
The smallest constellation, Crux, is the well-known Southern Cross, high in the southern sky. It can be distinguished from the False Cross lower down by looking for the two bright stars in line with the top of the Southern Cross, Alpha and Beta Centauri (the Pointers).
Two planets are prominent in the evening sky. Mars is in Virgo and Saturn is in Libra.
The Moon is in the evening sky until 14 July and again from 28 July.
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