October

  • And - Andromeda the Princess of Ethiopia

    Size

    19 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Andromeda contains one corner of the Great Square of Pegasus (the star Alpheratz). Andromeda’s dress flows outward from the corner along three pairs of stars, with each pair slightly farther apart than the previous pair. Perhaps she is petting Pegasus, who bore the hero Perseus across the ocean on his mighty wings to save her from the sea monster Cetus.

    Asterisms

    Baseball diamond (with Pegasus)
    Great Square
    Frederick’s Glory (Honores Friderici)

    Special Stars

  • Aqr - Aquarius the Water Carrier

    Size

    10 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Water jar pattern. Near Pegasus.

    An ancient Babylonian constellation which contained the September equinox in the fourth millenium B.C. Aquarius is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    M2 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.4.

    M72 (Globular cluster), mag. 9.3.

    M73 (Galactic cluster), mag. 9.1.

     

     

  • Ari - Aries the Ram

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    39 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A small zodiac constellation with only two easily visible stars.

     

    Skylore and Literature:  A ram with Golden Fleece, which could fly through the air.

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

     

  • Cas - Cassiopeia the Queen of Ethiopia

    Size

    25 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Trace an imaginary line from the Big Bear’s pointers on past Polaris. At an equal distance on the opposite side from the Big Dipper is Cassiopeia (KASS-ee-oh-PAY-uh), an ancient Queen of Ethiopia.

    As she sits on her W-shaped throne she circles round and round the pole. Like the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia is circumpolar and therefore visible no matter what the season or time of night. In the fall Cassiopeia is in the shape of a W and in the Spring she is in the shape of a M.

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

  • Cep - Cepheus the King of Ethiopia

    Size

    27 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Another circumpolar constellation is the Ethiopian king, Cepheus (SEE-fee-us). He sits atop the Milky Way on a throne near his queen Cassiopeia. The legs and seat of his throne make a rough square. On the Ursa Major side of Cassiopeia, looks like a house (or throne) sitting on the Milky Way. Look for mu-Cephei, the "garnet star," with a deep reddish tint. The back of the seat comes to a point at the top above his head.

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

     

  • Cet - Cetus the Sea Monster or Whale

    Size

    4 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    South of Aries and Pisces, one of the largest constellations. Trace to the second-magnitude star Beta-Ceti (Diphda, near the flukes) by following a line southward from Alpheratz (the corner of Pegasus and Andromeda) through gamma-Pegasi, across Pisces and Cetus.

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

     

    Skylore and Literature:  Killed by Perseus as he was attempting to devour Andromeda. Movies: Clash of the Titans; Internet movie database.

     

    Special Stars

  • For - Fornax the Furnace

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    41 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A small constellation of faint stars nestled within a bend of the river (Eridanus), low in the south.

    One of 17 constellations created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. Created by Lacaille in 1752 as one of 14 constellations named after scientific instruments. He called it Fornax Chemica, the Chemical Furnace. Bode referred to it as Apparatus Chemicus.

     

    Special Stars

    Alpha-Fornacis is only magnitude 3.9. Declination: -29 degrees south.

     

    Galaxies

  • Gru - Grus the Crane

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    45 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Partially visible low in the south in August and September from 35 degrees north latitude. Grus is one of four birds in the southern skies (cf. Pavo the Peacock, Phoenix, and Tucana the Toucan). It contains many very faint galaxies.

    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).

  • Hyi - Hydrus the Southern Water Snake

    Size

    61 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Hydrus has only three stars above the fourth magnitude.

    Hydrus is the Little Snake, not to be confused with Hydra, the big one.

    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).

    Special Stars

    Of easy-to-spot stars, the closest to the south pole is Beta-Hydri. Magnitude: 2.8. The south celestial pole actually lies in Octans the Octant.

     

     

  • Lac - Lacerta the Lizard

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    68 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Between Cepheus and Pegasus; no bright stars, but in Milky Way.

    One of the seven constellations created by the Polish astronomers Elisabeth and Johannes Hevelius, in 1687 / 1690.