Tag Archives: September

Corona Australis (The southern crown)

Constellation Corona AustralisCorona Australis is a southern constellation that was cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains among the 88 modern constellations. This horseshoe-shaped constellation lies about as far south as, and adjacent to the crook of Scorpius’ tail, and just beneath the teapot asterism of Sagittarius. Because of its far southern location in the celestial sphere, it barely rises above the southern horizon before setting again. Corona Australis reaches its highest nightfall ascension in September.

This constellation provides the foreground stars for a portion of the Milky Way pointing in a direction near the center of our galaxy. The most notable object in this region is the Corona Australis Molecular Cloud, a large and dark molecular cloud with many embedded reflection nebulae. There are many other telescopically interesting objects in this constellation to include star-forming regions with proto-stars, galaxies, and variable stars.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_Australis

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

Cepheus (The King of Aethiopia)

CepheusCCCepheus is named after the Greek mythological King of Aethiopia, who was also Queen Cassiopeia’s husband and Princess Andromeda’s father. This constellation was one of the 48 constellations cataloged by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy that remain among the 88 modern constellations. This 27th-largest constellation is a fairly bright and recognizable circumpolar constellation. It is a house-like asterism of fairly bright stars that can be easily found north and east of Polaris in September’s evening skies.

Cepheus is home to some interesting deep space objects. NGC 188 is the closest open star cluster to the north celestial pole, and the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946) is a spiral galaxy in which nine supernova have been observed, more than in any other galaxy. Also, a quasar that is powered by a supermassive black hole is among the most powerful objects in the universe is located in Cepheus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cepheus_(constellation)

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

Corona Borealis (The northern crown)

Corona Borealis, BootesCorona Borealis is one of the smallest, but prettiest constellations. It is located between Boötes and Hercules, and is best seen when it reaches its highest nightfall ascension in September. It is also one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. This constellation’s name is inspired by its shape: its main stars form a semicircular arc with Alphecca, a bright jewel, situated about half way around the arc. This distinct constellation easily catches the observers eye in a dark sky, but often escapes notice in a light-polluted urban sky.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_Borealis

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

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