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Constellation Guide

Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.

Some of the constellations have very familiar names, such as Leo, Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius. There are 12 of these constellations and they form the Zodiac. The Zodiac constellations follow the line of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere.

Boötes

The Herdsman

Boötes is generally referred to as the Bear Watcher, since it appears to be watching over the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Boötes

Boötes Mythology

Exactly whom Boötes is supposed to represent is not clear. According to one version, he was a ploughman who drove the oxen in the constellation Ursa Major using his two dogs Chara and Asterion (from the constellation Canes Venatici). The oxen were tied to the polar axis and so the action of Boötes kept the heavens in constant rotation.

Further Information

The name Arcturus, the alpha star of Boötes, means bear driver. It is a zero magnitude red giant and is the third brightest star as seen from Earth in the night sky. It is one of the vertices's of the Spring Triangle, the other two being Spica (α Virginis) and Denebola (ß Leonis).

Boötes Photographs

 

More Constellations

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