As Earth orbits around the sun, new constellations and stars rise and become dominant during different seasons. In the summer, constellations from Sagittarius and Scorpius to Cygnus and Lyra are prominent due to their positioning in the sky. These constellations, extending from the southern horizon and tracing a trail overhead, also trace the path of the Milky Way.
From a suburban or rural location, wait until the sky gets dark on summer evenings and your eyes have adjusted, then seek out the cloudy-looking swath that begins in the south and arches overhead to the north. The Milky Way flows through the Summer Triangle (marked by the stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair) and thickens in the south near the Teapot asterism in Sagittarius, which is also the direction of the center of our galaxy.
The Milky Way Galaxy and our solar system are not aligned in parallel planes but intersect each other at an angle. Therefore, planets and the moon occasionally cross through the Milky Way as seen from our position. On July 29, the moon will appear to pass in front of the Milky Way, in the direction of the galaxy’s center.
With a pair of binoculars or a telescope, you can slowly sweep the environs of the Milky Way and stumble upon nebulae, star clusters, and globular clusters. The area just above the Teapot is an especially rich field for deep-sky objects.