Here are some of the highlights of the December sky:Read More »Highlights of the Night Sky in December
Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri, also known as the Eye of Taurus, is an orange giant star located at a distance of 65 light years from Earth.
It is the brightest star in Taurus constellation and the 14th brightest star in the night sky. Aldebaran has a luminosity 518 times that of the Sun (153 times in visible light).
The name Aldebaran (pronounced /ælˈdɛbərən/) comes from the Arabic word al-dabarān, meaning “the follower.” The name refers to the Pleiades cluster (Messier 45), which the star appears to be following across the sky.
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Capella, also known as Alpha Aurigae or the Goat Star, is the brightest star in Auriga and the sixth brightest star in the sky.
The only stars in the northern celestial hemisphere brighter than Capella are Arcturus in Boötes constellation and Vega in Lyra. The only other star visible from northern latitudes that is brighter than Capella is Sirius in the southern constellation Canis Major.
Capella is sometimes called the Goat Star because its name is derived from the diminutive of the Latin capra, meaning “female goat,” and means “the little goat.”
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It is the brightest deep sky object in the constellation. The cluster has the designation NGC 2632 in the New General Catalogue.
Read More »Praesepe (M44): The Beehive Cluster
It is formed by three massive, bright stars located in our galaxy, in the direction of the constellation Orion, the Hunter: Alnilam, Alnitak and Mintaka. Two of the three stars are supergiants.
Read More »Orion’s Belt
The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as Messier 33 (M33), is a spiral galaxy in Triangulum constellation. The galaxy’s designation in the New General Catalogue is NGC 598. It lies at an approximate distance of 3 million light years from Earth and has a diameter of about 50,000 light years.
Read More »Triangulum Galaxy – Messier 33
The brightest stars in the cluster represent the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters in Greek mythology, and their parents, the nymph Pleione and the Titan Atlas.
Messier 45 is one of the nearest star clusters to Earth. Its brightest stars lie at a distance between 390 and 460 light years. The cluster is mostly composed of hot, blue, highly luminous stars belonging to the spectral class B with an estimated age under 100 million years.
Read More »Pleiades: The Seven Sisters (Messier 45)