As the weather begins to warm up in anticipation of the Summer season, the famous “Summer triangle” may not be the only Celestial triangle vying for stargazers attention. For more on the story here is Zachary Devita.
In many ways, stargazing is sort of like geometry. There are many star patterns that resemble a variety of different geometrical shapes. Since most of us do not have as a fertile imagination as our ancestors in visualizing people, animals, mythological beasts or even inanimate objects among the stars, we tend to fall back on more familiar figures, such as a great square, a backwards question mark, a kite, and so on.
The sky abounds in this particular shape. It’s the easiest of all to visualize, since only three stars are needed to form it. In addition to two constellations that are officially recognized as triangles (Triangulum and Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle), there are triangles that represent the hindquarters of two animals, the Big Dog (Canis Major) and the Lion (Leo). [April’s Night Sky: What You Can See This Month (Maps)]
And for those who are unfortunately stuck under rather light polluted skies, there is a long, narrow triangle currently visible high in the western sky during the evening, in the constellation of Gemini, the Twins. Henry Neely, who was a popular lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium more than half a century ago, once noted in his 1946 book “A Primer for Stargazers”: “I have always tried to indicate a figure which is much easier for star-gazers of today to find, and the three brightest and most unmistakable stars in Gemini – Pollux, Castor and Alhena – can be seen to form a long wedge.”