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Northern Constellations

Forums ► Misc Topics ► Northern Constellations
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Northern Constellations
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Post # 1
Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere

Not a lot of people truly understand the constellations; a little trick is that you will find that one will most probably be pointing the path towards another. For anyone observing the northern hemisphere they are three key groups , Ursa Major, Orion and Pegasus.

Ursa Major, The great bear is circumpolar from the latitudes of London or New York, It never sets, meaning that it can always be seen somewhere or other, provided the sky is dark and clear. Severn of its stars makes up the pattern known as the plough or big dipper as they are so useful. The stars of this constellation are Alkaid, Mizar, Alioth, Megrez, Merak and Dubhe.; The last two are known as the pointers of the constellation as they show the way to Polaris ( The north star ) which sits at the end of the Ursa Minor constellation known as the little bear. Polaris is within one degree of the north celestial pole, so it always seems stationary in the night sky.

On the far side of Polaris with respect to Ursa Major is Cassiopeia, whose five main stars form the w pattern we can see in the sky. Like Ursa Major, Cassiopeia is circumpolar. When the bear is high in the sky, Cassiopeia is low down and visa versa. So one will always be more visible than the other as they take a scales effect on each other.

Orion, The celestial hunter dominates the night sky in northern winter ( the southern summer ) and is impossible to be mistaken for another. The leading stars are Rigel and Betelgeux, Rigel is glittering white, while Betelgeux is the orange red super giant near the centre. The other main stars of Orion are Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka which make up Orions belt, South of Orions belt seen as a misty blur with the naked eye is the sword containing the famous Orion nebula.

Southward of the belt leads the way to Sirius, in Canis Major ( the great dog ). Which is pure white, but when low down seems to flash the colors of the rainbow. Northward the belt points to the orange Aldebaran in Taurus, and on to the open cluster of Pleiades or seven sisters.

Pegasus has four main stars that make up a square, these are Markab, Algenib, Scheat and Alpheratz. Strangely for some unknown astronomical reason Alpheratz has been transferred and also belongs to the adjacent constellation of Andromeda, Pisces and Aquarius are always very low and down from Pegasus. Aries is not really that visible as it does not have a bright star

There is a lot more that could be explained about the constellations. But without a constellation chart to hand there is not much point. These three main constellations are ones that we are all familiar with and are clearly visible to us, with a clear night sky you should now be able to make sense of the constellations and trace them to the next as well as naming the stars contained. And in turn it will help with magical and astrological workings
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Re: Northern Constellations
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Post # 2
This thread has been moved to Misc Topics from General Info.
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