ASTR 110L

Major Constellations & Bright Stars - Fall 2009 Semester

You are responsible for knowing the location and general shape of the following constellations, asterisms, clusters, and * bright stars listed in CAPITAL letters after each one is introduced "in the field" as the semester progresses. Memorize the CAPITAL Western names; Hawaiian names will be used for extra credit. Lower-case names belong to constellations and stars that are relatively faint or minor; they too are optional.

Constellations are listed very roughly in the order that we will encounter them during the semester (roughly in order of increasing right ascension): visible only at start of semester: "Arc to Arcturus" / Kaiwikuamo'o ("the spine/backbone') navigational north-south star line:

Begin at the Big Dipper ... its handle arcs to Arcturus ... speed on to Spica ... [not visible: catch Corvus ... and cross over to the Southern Cross].

 

CONSTELLATION

Hemisphere of

Zodiacal?

Comments

 

BRIGHT STARS

 

 

 

 

Sky

Plane of Milky Way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* POLARIS = Hokupa'a ("fixed star") = The

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Star = The Pole Star (blue-white; 49th_

 

 

 

 

 

brightest star in night sky)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polaris located (very nearly) at celestial

navigation: Polaris is (nearly) motionless,

 

 

Ursa Minor (UMi)

far northern sky

 

north pole

directly above "due north" on horizon

 

 

 

 

 

navigation: Polaris's altitude (elevation) above

 

 

 

 

 

horizon = observer's northern latitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

A The Little Dipper (seven stars, Polaris at

 

 

 

 

 

end of handle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A The BIG DIPPER = Na Hiku ("the seven")

 

 

URSA MAJOR (UMa)

far northern sky

 

 

"Pointer" stars lead to Polaris, then Cassiopeia

 

 

 

 

 

Arc of handle arcs to Arcturus, then Spica, ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Kaiwikuamo'o navigational north-south star line)

 

 

northern/

 

Polynesian navigation: Arcturus passes

* ARCTURUS = Hokule'a ("star of joy")

 

 

Bootes (Boo)

 

 

through zenith in Hawaii

(orange giant; 4th-brightest star in entire night

 

 

equatorial sky

 

 

sky)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virgo (Vir)

equatorial sky

zodiacal

 

* SPICA = Hikianalia (blue-white)

 

 

 

SCORPIUS (Sco)

southern sky

zodiacal;

also known as "Maui's Fishhook" =

* ANTARES = Lehua-kona ("southern lehua

 

 

 

 

bulge of MW

"Ka Makau Nui 0 Maui" or Manaiakalani

flower") (red supergiant)

 

 

 

 

 

SAGITTARIUS (Sgr)

southern sky

zodiacal;

looks like "teapot" with "steam" rising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

center & bulge of MW

from spout & nearby "teaspoon"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nicknamed the "Northern Cross"

* DENEB

=

Pira'etea

(blue-white)

-

 

CYGNUS (Cyg)

northern sky

plane of MW

Cygnus the Swan is flying (roughly)

northeastern

corner

of

A SUMMER

 

 

 

 

south

TRIANGLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

looks like small, faint parallelogram

* VEGA = Keoe

(white; 5th-brightest star in sky)

 

LYRA (Lyr)

northern sky

 

 

night

 

-

northwestern

corner

of

 

 

 

 

contains variable star ~ Lyrae

SUMMER TRIANGLE

 

 

 

 

Aquila (Aql)

equatorial sky

plane of MW

 

* ALTAIR = Humu (white) - southern corner

 

 

 

 

 

of SUMMER TRIANGLE

 

 

 


ASTR 110L

 

 

 

 

 

5 bright stars form distinctive W shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on opposite side of Polaris from Big

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASSIOPEIA (Cas)

far northern sky

plane of MW

Dipper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

also known as 'Iwa Keli'i ('Iwa, the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chief)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEGASUS (Peg)

northern sky

 

attached to tip of Andromeda's "V"

A GREAT SQUARE of Pegasus = Ka Lupe 0

 

 

 

 

 

sides of Great SJquare are nearly NSEW

Kawelo ("the kite of Kawelo")

 

 

 

 

CEPHEUS (Cep)

far northern sky

near plane of MW

contains variable star () Cephei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

long, curving V shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANDROMEDA (And)

northern sky

near plane of MW

tip of "V" is attached to Great Square of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pegasus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

contains Andromeda Galaxy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERSEUS (Per)

far northern sky

plane of MW

 

* Algol = "The Demon Star"

 

 

 

 

 

AURIGA (Aur)

northern sky

plane of MW

attached to tip of Taurus's northern horn

* CAPELLA

=

Hokiilei

(bright

white;

6th_

 

 

 

 

 

 

brightest star in entire night sky)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* ALDEBARAN (orange giant; eye of Taurus

 

 

 

 

 

tip of northern horn is attached to

the Bull)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HYADES (wide cluster: V-shaped head of

 

 

TAURUS (Tau)

equatorial sky

zodiacal;

Auriga

Taurus the Bull)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

near plane of MW

Polynesian navigation: Pleiades passes

The PLEIADES = Nil Makali'i = The Seven

 

 

 

 

 

through zenith in Hawaii

Sisters = Subaru (small cluster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

visible to naked eye)

 

 

 

 

 

 

equatorial sky

 

also known as Ka Hei-hei 0 Nil Keiki

* BETELGEUSE (reddish) = Kauluakoko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* RIGEL (bluish-white) = Puanakau

 

 

 

 

ORION (Ori)

(Orion's Belt

near plane of MW

("Cat's Cradle"/children's string game)

* Bellatrix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lies on celestial

 

 

ORION'S BELT (3 stars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

equator)

 

middle "star" of Sword is Orion Nebula

ORION'S SWORD (3 "stars")