Sagitta, Delphinus, and Vulpecula - Downloadable article
This diminutive trio of autumn constellations packs plenty of deep-sky wonders.
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.|
"Sagitta, Vulpecula, and Delphinus" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 6.
During the evening hours in early autumn, the sky continues to be dominated by the previous season's stars. Deneb, Vega, and Altair — the famed stars of the Summer Triangle — ride nearly overhead. This trio of stars and their respective constellations, Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila, command the attention of any observer interested in the deep sky. Yet tucked along the margins of these striking constellations lie three small constellations that merit a closer look.
Sagitta the Arrow resides in the rich starfield between Altair and the popular double star Albireo in Cygnus. Although its star pattern measures scarcely 5° by 1°, it stands out nicely, appearing like its namesake. To the north, projected against the Great Rift of the Milky Way, lies the considerably more obscure form of Vulpecula the Fox. It contains just one 4th-magnitude star, Alpha (α) Vulpeculae, located a bit more than 3° south of Albireo. Moving south and east of Sagitta and away from the Milky Way's band, our gaze lands on the prominent constellation Delphinus the Dolphin. This tiny grouping dwells in the abrupt transition zone from the star-filled fields of the summer Milky Way to the sparsely populated autumn sky. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 6.
|Deep-sky objects in Sagitta, Vulpecula, and Delphinus|
Palomar 10, Collinder 399, NGC 6802, Herschel 84, NGC 6823, NGC 6820, NGC 6830, Harvard 20, M71 (NGC 6838), M27 (NGC 6853), NGC 6886, NGC 6891, NGC 6905, NGC 6934, NGC 6940, Gamma (γ) Delphini, NGC 7006
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