Aquila [Lat., = the eagle], equatorial constellation located N of Sagittarius and Capricornus, lying partly in the Milky Way. It is sometimes depicted as an eagle. It contains the bright star Altair (Alpha Aquilae) and the pulsating variable star Eta Aquilae. The brightest nova ever seen occurred in Aquila in 1918. Other novas were observed in Aquila in 389 and 1899; two were observed there in 1936. Aquila reaches its highest point in the evening sky in late August.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.