Monoceros and Pyxis - Downloadable article
Sparkling clusters and stunning nebulae make these inconspicuous constellations a backyard observer's delight.
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.|
"Monoceros and Pyxis" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 7.
The often frigid evenings of winter do have one saving grace: The sky saves its brightest stars of the year for our observing pleasure. Tucked inside the triangle formed by the familiar stars of Orion, Sirius in Canis Major, and Procyon in Canis Minor, lies the barely distinguishable constellation Monoceros the Unicorn. Holding only three stars brighter than magnitude 4.0 and with the nearly uniform mist of the Milky Way running through it, Monoceros ranks among the most difficult constellations to pick out.
Although much smaller, the constellation Pyxis the Compass proves easier to spot. Look 20° east of the hind legs of Canis Major to spy three 4th-magnitude stars in a line. The brightest of these, Alpha (α) Pyxidis, shines with the light of nearly 2,000 suns — it appears faint only because it lies more than 800 light-years from Earth. Pxyis resides on the fringe of the Milky Way and contains open clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 7.
|Deep-sky objects in Monoceros and Pyxis|
NGC 2170, NGC 2182, NGC 2215, NGC 2232, NGC 2236, NGC 2237, NGC 2244, NGC 2261, NGC 2264, NGC 2316, M50 (NGC 2323), NGC 2324, IC 2177, NGC 2346, NGC 2353, NGC 2613, NGC 2627, NGC 2818