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.
The star Thuban (α Draconis) was the northern pole star around 2700 BC, during the time of the ancient Egyptians. Due to the effects of precession, it will once again be the pole star around the year 21,000 AD.
In the most famous of the myths, Draco represents Ladon, the hundred-headed dragon that guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides. The eleventh of The Twelve Labours of Heracles was to steal the golden apples. Herakles killed Ladon with a poisoned arrow, allowing him to freely take the golden apples.
One of the deep-sky objects in Draco is the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), a planetary nebula that is said to look like a blue disc. There are several faint galaxies in Draco, one of which is the lenticular galaxy NGC 5866, sometimes considered to be the missing Messier Object 102.
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