National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Star Week and Traditional Tanabata (August, 2017)

August 28, 2017, 20:00, the sky of Tokyo
Medium resolution (2000 x 2000) High resolution (5500 x 5500)

Enjoying Summer Events

Every year, August 1 to 7 is “Star Week--A Week Getting to Know the Night Sky--”. Star Week is a campaign which provides many people a chance to be exposed to the starry sky. Star week is held during a period suitable for watching the starry sky easily. At this time, the rainy season is over and the weather becomes stable and clear all over Japan. Events, such as star gazing parties, are held throughout Japan in cooperation with Star Week.

Another annual summer event is the “Traditional Tanabata.”
In the current calendar, the day of the Traditional Tanabata is different each year. This year the Traditional Tanabata is August 28.
The “Traditional Tanabata” is the 7th day of the 7th month in the luni-solar calendar (sometimes called the Old Calendar). On the evening of this day, the Tanabata stars rise high in the evening sky and the almost quarter moon shines in the southwestern sky.

After the Sun sets and the sky becomes dark, please look for Orihime Boshi (The Weaving Princess Star, the 1st magnitude star Vega in the constellation Lyra) and Hiko Boshi (The Cowherd Star, the 1st magnitude star Altair in the constellation Aquila). Also, if you are in a place where the night sky is very dark, you might be able to see the Milky Way as well.