Corvus, Crater, and Sextans - Downloadable article
Easily overlooked, these three simple constellations hold a treasure-trove of exotic galaxies.
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.|
"Corvus, Crater, and Sextans" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 9.
Don't let the dim stars of Corvus, Crater, and Sextans fool you. Sandwiched between the giants Hydra and Virgo, these unimposing constellations may not seem like much at first, but take a closer look. The trio acts as a window on distant galaxies and makes a rich target for early spring observing. Sextans the Sextant holds only one star brighter than 5th magnitude and a dozen brighter than 6th magnitude. It's a challenge for observers to make out the constellation's brightest stars, which are drawn either as a three- or four-star grouping. The four brightest stars of Sextans are all rather ordinary white suns several hundred light-years away.
To the southeast, Crater the Cup somewhat lives up to its name. A chain of six stars of magnitude 4 and 5 form the shape of a "U" on its side. The brightest of these is Delta (δ) Crateris, whose spectral type (K) is evidenced by a yellow tint. To the southwest, the slightly fainter Alpha (α) Crateris shows a similar hue. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 9.
|Deep-sky objects in Corvus, Crater, and Sextans|
NGC 3044, Sextans B, NGC 3115, Palomar 3, Sextans A, Sextans Dwarf, NGC 3169, NGC 3511, NGC 3513, NGC 3672, NGC 3887, NGC 3962, NGC 4027, NGC 4038, NGC 4361, ADS 8573, ADS 8627, NGC 4783