Cepheus and Lacerta - Downloadable article
The far northern sky offers a fine range of sparkling clusters and bright nebulae.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Cepheus and Lacerta" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 7.
Despite the calendar's insistence that we're in the waning days of autumn, the night sky seems reluctant to let go of the previous season. Riding high in the northwest during the evening hours, the northernmost star of the Summer Triangle asterism remains conspicuous. Deneb, the brightest star in Cygnus the Swan, provides a convenient starting point for locating this month's constellations.
Head north from Cygnus and your eyes will alight on a distinct pattern of five stars that resembles a child's drawing of a house with a steep roof. This prominent grouping belongs to Cepheus the King, a constellation that appears circumpolar from most of the United States and all of Canada and Europe. The brightest star in the constellation, 2nd-magnitude Alpha (α) Cephei, marks the southwestern corner of the house and lies some 500 light-years from Earth. The precession of Earth's axis will make Alpha the pole star in approximately 5,500 years. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 7.
|Deep-sky objects in Cepheus and Lacerta|
NGC 7822, NGC 40, NGC 188, NGC 6939, NGC 6951, Gyulbudaghian's Nebula, NGC 7023, IC 1396, Mu Cephei, NGC 7139, NGC 7142, BL Lacertae, NGC 7209, NGC 7243, Krueger 60, NGC 7380, IC 1470, NGC 7510, NGC 7538