SEPTEMBER CONSTELLATIONS: The evenings of September are the best times to learn the stars of the Summer Triangle. This pattern is formed of the bright first magnitude stars Deneb, Vega and Altair, and is conspicuously visible high overhead this month in the hours after sunset.
Once you identify these bright stars, try to pick out the constellations. You should have no trouble finding Cygnus the Swan in the area around Deneb. This pattern really does resemble a starry long-necked bird. Then try to spot Lyra the Lyre, a small parallelogram of stars associated with Vega. Aquila is a starry Eagle, defined by a diamond-shape pattern of stars. Fainter is Sagitta the Arrow, inside the Summer Triangle. Faint but obvious is Delphinus the Dolphin, a compact diamond of stars with a little tail.
Pitch a blanket in your backyard with your family and try to learn these stars during the warm evenings this month. This will help you to learn the constellations that will be coming afterwards, later in the fall.
The classical constellations are explained in our Signs & Seasons curriculum.