This fall, go outside as soon as the sky turns dark and look due south. The marbled motif of summer’s Milky Way is rising nearly vertically into the heavens. This vista of hazy starlight makes its biggest splash around the hub of our galaxy, between Scorpius’ “stinger stars” and Sagittarius’ Teapot asterism. The Milky Way then courses high overhead, where it ripples through Cygnus. Each year, from July to mid-October, we can enjoy this swell, and relish what I call “The seven wonders of the summer Milky Way” — all majestic, naked-eye structures larger than the Full Moon and inspiring to a roaming eye under a clear, dark sky. Grab this opportunity while you can, because, by October’s end, Scorpius will have slipped below the horizon.
Stephen James O’Meara’s secret sky: Seven wonders
October 2007: Each year, from July to mid-October, we can relish what O'Meara calls "The seven wonders of the summer Milky Way"