University of Edinburgh

BSL Astronomy Glossary - aquila - definition

Definition: A constellation is a group of stars and Aquila is a constellation that resembles an eagle, hence its name. It can be located in the night sky by finding the three bright stars that make up the summer triangle. At the narrowest angle of the triangle, lies Altair, the brightest star in Aquila. The other two stars in the summer triangle are Deneb, in the constellation of Cygnus, and Vega, in the constellation of Lyra. When an artist’s impression is added to the video, it is easier to imagine why people thought this constellation resembles an eagle flying up the Milky way to meet Cygnus the swan flying down towards it.