Tag Archives: Pegasus

Perseus (A Greek mythological hero)

PerseusCCThe constellation Perseus is located near several other constellations to which Perseus is related in Greek mythology: Cepheus, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, and Cetus. This constellation was one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy that remain among the 88 modern constellations. This easily spotted constellation is well placed high in the northern sky and best seen in January. It is found between Cassiopeia and the Pleiades, and Mirfak (Alpha Persei) is its brightest star Its most interesting star Algol (Beta Persei) is an eclipsing binary star. Its variable brightness, which is noticeable to the naked eye, decreases by over one degree of magnitude for about ten hours on a cycle time of just under three days. This star is also known as the Demon Star, because the ancients perceived its variability as an ominous sign. Also notable in this constellation is theNGC869NGC884 Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884), which are naked eye objects under very dark skies. Perseus is home to two Messier objects, M34 and M76, and to the Perseids meteor shower. This meteor shower, one of the most consistently prominent meteor showers each year, lasts from mid-July to late August, peaking between the 9th and 10th of August.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus_(constellation)

606px-Perseus_IAU.svg
IAU Perseus chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

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

Lacerta (The lizard)

Andromeda, LacertaLacerta, the lizard, is a northern hemisphere constellation that presents a slight “W” shape, and is hence sometimes referred to as “Little Cassiopeia.” It is nestled among five large and distinct constellations: Cepheus, Cygnus, Pegasus, Andromeda and Cassiopeia, and it can be found highest in the sky at nightfall in March. Most notable for telescope viewers is Roe 47, a multiple star system consisting of five gravitationally-bound components between 6th and 10th magnitude. While the brightest, 6th magnitude component can usually be seen with the unaided eye under very dark skies, a modest telescope is required to see all five components.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacerta

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

Delphinus (The dolphin)

Dephinus, EquuleusDelphinus is a very small, but easily identified northern constellation. It is perhaps the most interesting of the four small constellations located near the Summer Triangle as it loosely resembles a dolphin. It consists of only five main stars, and is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is located south of Cygnus, and is flanked by Aquila and Pegasus. It reaches its highest nightfall ascension in October.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinus

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

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

Andromeda (Cassiopeia’s daughter)

Andromeda, CassiopeiaAndromeda, the mythological daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, is located near these two constellations and among several other constellations representing the Perseus myth, to include Perseus, Pegasus, and Cetus. It is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy that remain among the 88 modern constellations. It is found directly overhead at the zenith after sunset in December. Although Andromeda is not a very distinct constellation in light-polluted skies, most of its stars can be observed. It’s brightest star, Alpheratz (Alpha Andromeda), is shared with the constellation Pegasus, and marks one corner of the Great Square of Pegasus. Locate this constellation by starting with the north eastern most star of the Great Square of Pegasus, and find the remaining stars flowing north east from there.

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31), M31boboThe Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbor, is found in this constellation. M31 can be found with the unaided eye in the very darkest of dark skies, but can easily be found with a binocular or telescope under most adverse light pollution conditions. M31 and M110 are two of M31’s dwarf companion galaxies that can also be seen in most photographs of M31.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_(constellation)

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

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

Pegasus (A winged horse in Greek mythology)

PegasusThis is a rather bright constellation that is nearly straight overhead at nightfall in November. An imaginary line drawn from Polaris through Cassiopeia to just beyond the zenith brings the viewer to this constellation. The most notable feature of this constellation is not an obvious winged horse, but an asterism known as the Great Square of Pegasus. An inexperienced observer who is accustomed to smaller constellations with denser star groupings might have difficulty perceiving these four widely spaced stars as a square. As the square’s stars are rather bright, and present an almost perfect quadrangle, it tends to be easier to relocate for an observer who has previously spotted this constellation and knows what to expect. The globular star cluster, M15, is the only Messier object in this constellation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_(constellation)

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

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

Cygnus (The swan)

Cygnus, LyraCygnus, the swan, is a bright and distinct northern constellations, and one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy.  It is located among Lyra, Hercules, Draco, Cepheus, Lacerta and Pegasus. Deneb (Alpha Cygni) is its brightest star, and a member of the Summer Triangle. Cygnus reaches its highest ascension in September. A gracefully flying swan can be  easily imagined while taking in this constellation. Cygnus is also known as the Northern Cross.

Cygnus lies on the Milky Way’s plane, and is thus filled with many deep space objects. Of these, two were cataloged by Charles Messier. M39 is an open cluster of about 30 stars in the north east corner of Cygnus, and M29 is a small open cluster near the crux of the Northern Cross. There are several named nebula, star clusters, and galaxies to include the Blinking Nebula (NGC 6826), the Rocking Horse cluster (NGC 6910), the Veil Nebula, the North America Nebula (NGC 7000), the Northern Coalsack nebula, the Soap Bubble nebula (PN G75.5+1.7), and the Fireworks galaxy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_(constellation)

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