• Aql - Aquila the Eagle

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    22 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Between Cygnus and Sagittarius, with Altair (its brightest star) making the south end of the Summer Triangle (along with Deneb of Cygnus and Vega of Lyra). As the night sky changes, Aquila the Eagle and Cygnus the Swan swing slowly westward across the sky towards the horizon. The Eagle sets tail first, followed closely by the Swan, who dives beak first below the western horizon.

  • Boo - Bootes the Herdsman or Bear Driver

    Size

    13 of 88

    Astronomical 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.

  • CrB - Corona Borealis the Northern Crown

    Size

    73 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A semicircle of stars between Bootes and Hercules, featuring the bright star Gemma (jewel). To locate the Northern Crown, find Arcturus and Vega, the two brightest stars in the northern hemisphere. Draw a straight line between them and you will find not only the mighty Hercules, but the splendid Corona Borealis.

  • Sgr - Sagittarius the Archer

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    15 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Look for teapot pattern to the east of Scorpius, complete with handle, lid, and spout. Tea pouring from the spout would indicate the direction of the center of Milky Way, and the entire constellation is rich with many stars. Try binoculars in the area where clusters gather like steam rising from the teapot.

    Centaur, half-man and half-horse, shooting an arrow. If you cannot see a creature half-man and half-horse in these stars, then try looking for a teapot. Four stars make the pot... Two stars form a handle... One star is a lid... And the tip of the bowman’s arrow makes a spout.

  • Vir - Virgo the Maiden

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    2 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Continue past Arcturus on the curve from the Dipper’s handle ("Arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica"). To "Speed on to Spica," go the same distance as it took to reach Arcturus. If it’s not below the horizon, Spica is the brightest star of the constellation Virgo the Maiden. Although Virgo is the second largest constellation in the sky, the rest of its stars are faint. Yet don’t be surprised if you often see a bright visiting planet nearby.