Tag Archives: Aquila

Scutum (The shield)

Scutum, SagittariusOriginally named Scutum Sobiescianum (Shield of Sobieski) to commemorate the victory of Christian forces led by Polish King John III Sobieski in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the name was later shortened to Scutum. This is a small, dim constellation located between the tail of Aquila, above the head of Sagittarius, and to the left of Ophiuchus. Scutum reaches its highest nightfall ascension in August. It contains two Messier star clusters, M11 (the Wild Duck Cluster), and M26 (NGC 6694).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutum

609px-Scutum_IAU.svg
IAU Scutum chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

 

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Equuleus (The pony)

Equuleus, DelphinusEquuleus, the pony, is a small, dim constellation located just north of the celestial equator. It bears no resemblance a pony, but it is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Equuleus is the 2nd smallest constellation, and it has no stars brighter than 4th magnitude. It is located just outside of the Summer Triangle between  Aquila and Pegasus, and it reaches its highest nightfall ascension in October. Kitalpha (Alpha Equulei) is its brightest star shining at 3.9th magnitude. Equuleus contains a few faint NGC deep space objects.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equuleus

IAU Equuleus chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Equuleus chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Vulpecula (The little fox)

Vulpecula, Sagitta, DelphinusThe little fox is a small constellation of just a few moderately bright stars occupying the center of the Summer Triangle. Bearing little resemblance to a fox, this constellation reaches its highest nightfall ascension in September, appearing nearly directly overhead.  This constellation is one of the 48 that were cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Vulpecula  is home to two notable deep space objects: the Dumbell Nebula (M27) and the Brocchi’s Cluster (Collinder 399, also known as “the coathanger” asterism).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulpecula

IAU Vulpecula chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Vulpecula chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Sagitta (The arrow)

Aquila, Sagitta, DelphinusSaggita, the arrow, is the third smallest constellation. Find this tiny constellation just inside the Summer Triangle on an imaginary line drawn between Deneb in Cygnus and Altair in Aquila. Yep, this constellation is a distinct arrow-like constellation and  it can be readily seen under a reasonably dark sky. Find it at its highest nightfall ascension in September.This is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It contains only one Messier object, M71.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagitta

IAU Sagitta chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Sagitta chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Sagittarius (The archer)

Constellation SagittariusSagittarius, the archer, is a zodiacal constellation that is rather easily found because of its distinctive teapot asterism. It is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is located on the ecliptic between Scorpius and Capricornus. It can also be found by starting at Altair (a Summer Triangle star) and tracing southward along Aquila’s long axis. As is situated on southern most point of the ecliptic, this constellation hangs low in the southern sky, reaching its highest nightfall ascension in August. The Sun’s arrival at the southernmost point of the ecliptic around December 21st marks Winter Solstice and the first day of Winter.

This constellation has the distinction of presenting the foreground stars in the direction of the dense center of the Milky Way galaxy, which is rich in Messier objects. As such, it is worth taking the time to scan this constellation with binoculars or a small telescope. Several well-known nebula can be found in Sagittarius to include the Lagoon Nebula (M8), the Horseshoe Nebula, the Omega Nebula (M17), the Trifid Nebula (M20), and the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24). Other Messier objects include M18, M22, M23, M25, M28, M54, M55, M69, M70 and M75.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_(constellation)

IAU Sagittarius chart, Sky & Telescope magazine, June 5, 2011.
IAU Sagittarius chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Aquila (The eagle)

Scutum, Aquila, CapricornusAquila is a  fairly easily recognized constellation of medium to bright stars that is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is a pretty constellation that easily evokes an image of a soaring eagle. Lying south of Cygnus, and flanked by Pegasus to the east and Ophiuchus to the west, Aquila reaches its highest nightfall ascension in September.

The most notable star in Aquila is Altair (Alpha Aquilae), its brightest star and a member of the Summer Triangle. Aquila lies in the same direction as the Milky Way, so several  gaseous nebula can be found in this constellation. The most famous of these are the Owl Nebula (NGC6781) and the Glowing Eye nebula (NGC6751),
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_(constellation)

IAU Aquila chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.
IAU Aquila chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Ophiuchus (serpent bearer)

Constellation OphiuchusOphiuchus is located south of Hercules on the celestial equator. It is flanked by Virgo and Aquila and reaches its highest nightfall ascension in July. This is one of the largest constellations in the sky, but it will require a little work to locate its stars, because they are rather dim and widely scattered. Ophiuchus is home to several Messier Objects: M9, M10, M12, M14, M19, and M62. It is also home to Barnard’s Star (see Finding Barnard’s Star), a very close and very interesting stellar neighbor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiuchus

IAU Ophiuchus chart, Sky  Telescope magazine Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Ophiuchus chart, Sky Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net