April

  • Boo - Bootes the Herdsman or Bear Driver

    Size

    13 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Skywatchers have long-repeated the catch-phrase "Arc to Arcturus" (Arc-TUR-us). Follow the curve of the Big Dipper’s handle to the fourth brightest star in the sky. Arcturus belongs to the ancient constellation Bootes (BOW-oh-tees). Look for a pentagon above Arcturus forming the torso of the herdsman.

    Some prefer to see Bootes as a one-scoop ice cream cone. Just to one side lies Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. With bright Gemma ("Jemma") in its center, like a second scoop of ice cream that melted in the heat of summer and fell off the top.

  • CVn - Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs

    Size

    38 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Lies under the arc of the Big Dipper’s handle.

    One of the seven constellations created by the Polish astronomer, Johannes Hevelius, in 1687.

    Two hunting dogs of Bootes the Herdsman, named Asterion (Starry) and Chara (Joy). They are chasing Ursa Major.

    The brightest star is Cor Caroli, "heart of Charles," to honor King Charles I of England (martyred in the bloodless revolution of the seventeenth century).

     

    Star Clusters

    M3 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.3.

     

    Galaxies

  • Cen - Centaurus the Centaur

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    9 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Partially visible only in March and April from 35 degrees north latitude. Until early modern times the Centaur included Crux, which now nestles underneath his body.

     

    Skylore and Literature

  • Cha - Chamaeleon

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    79 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

     

    One of the eleven southern constellations created by Pieter Dirksz Keyser and Frederick de Houtman in 1596. These were published in Plate Aaa of Johann Bayer, Uranographia (1603).

     

  • Crv - Corvus the Crow

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    70 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    On the back of Hydra, kite-shaped pattern, low in the south.

    Corvus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    Sent by Apollo to report on Coronis, his lover. When Corvis told Apollo that she was unfaithful, Apollo turned his feathers black.

  • Crt - Crater the Cup

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    53 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Dim stars on the back of Hydra; shape of a cup.

    Crater is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    The drinking cup of Apollo, god of art and wisdom, who carried the sun across the sky every day. When Corvus, Apollo’s crow, refused to go for water to ease his thirst, Apollo placed the cup of water just in front of him where he could see it but never drink from it, though he chase it endlessly.

  • Hya - Hydra the Water Snake

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    1 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Hydra the Water Snake is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.  It is the largest and longest of the constellations, stretching from Cancer to Libra.

    Its brightest star is Alphard, which has an orangish tint.  Several constellations and asterisms ride on its back; from head to tail they are Sextans the Sextant, Crater the Cup, Corvus the Crow, and Noctua the Owl.

    Star Clusters

    M48 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.0.
    M68 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.2.