Gem - Gemini the Twins

  • Tau - Taurus the Bull

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    17 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Taurus the Bull is easily spotted. Its head is the Hyades, a V-shaped cluster of stars. His horns point outward from the V. Aldebaran is the red eye of the Bull as he charges down upon us.

    Taurus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.
    Biblical references: The Pleiades are mentioned in Job 9:7-9 and Job 38:31-33, and Amos 5:8. Other constellations alluded to in the Bible are Ursa Major and Orion.

    Skylore and Literature

  • Aur - Auriga the Charioteer

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    21 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Lies in the Milky Way, with many binocular and telescopic objects, between Gemini, Perseus and Taurus, at the top of the Winter Hexagon. Auriga looks like a pentagon, if one includes Alnath, which is also the tip of one of Taurus the Bull’s horns (Alnath was once Gamma-Aurigae, but is now officially Beta-Tauri).

  • Cnc - Cancer the Crab

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    31 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A faint constellation between Gemini and Leo.

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

    Sent by Juno to kill Hercules, who squashed it with his foot.

     

    Asterisms

    Asses and the Manger

     

    Star Clusters

    M44, Praesepe or Beehive (Galactic cluster), mag. 3.9.
    M67 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.1.

     

    Galaxies

    Look with binoculars for the Beehive star cluster, faintly visible to the naked eye.

     

     

     

     

  • CMi - Canis Minor the Little Dog

    Size

    71 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Procyon, the brightest star of Canis Minor, serves as the vertex of the Winter Hexagon lying between Gemini and Sirius.

    Canis Minor is included in the ancient star catalog of Ptolemy, but was not present in the catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos or Aratos of Soli.

     

    Skylore and Literature:  One of Orion’s two faithful dogs, following him in the sky.

     

    Asterism: Winter Hexagon

     

     

  • Gem - Gemini the Twins

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    30 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Look for the two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, which form one vertex of the Winter Hexagon. Castor is closer to Capella, in Auriga on the north; and Pollus is closer to Procyon, in Canis Minor on the south. Cancer and Leo lie to the east.

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

     

  • Lyn - Lynx

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    28 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Lying between Ursa Major and Gemini, the Lynx is a row of very dim stars silhouetting its crouched outline.

    From antiquity the lynx was renowned for its keen night vision. Hevelius created this constellation in 1690, noting that one needs the eyes of a lynx to see it.

     

  • Ori - Orion the Hunter

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    26 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Three stars in a row make up Orion’s belt, within a rectangle of four bright stars representing his shoulders and feet.
    At sunset in the autumn, Orion’s belt appears to rise straight up on the horizon.

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

     

    The sword hanging from his belt includes M42, the beautiful Orion nebula.