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Latest Asterism Stories

2007-12-28 12:29:52

December is the month of the winter solstice, which a large part of mankind associates with such festivals as the Nativity. Among the many varied customs linked with this special season for thousands of years, the exchanging of gifts is almost universal. The moment of the solstice occurred on Dec. 22 at 1:08 a.m. EST. The sun, appearing to travel along the ecliptic, reached that point in the sky where it is farthest south of the celestial equator.  Mother Nature herself offers the sky...


Latest Asterism Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Ursa Minor (little dipper) Constellation -- Ursa Minor is a constellation in the northern sky, whose name means the "Lesser Bear" in Latin. It is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. It is notable as the location of the north celestial pole, although this will change after some centuries due to the effects of precession. Notable features Ursa Minor contains an asterism colloquially known as the "Little Dipper" because its brightest...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Leo (the lion) Constellation -- Leo (the lion) is a constellation of the zodiac. Leo lies between dim Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east. Notable features This constellation contains many bright stars, such as Regulus (α Leo), the lion's heart; Denebola (β Leo); and Algieba (γ1 Leo). Many other fainter stars have been named has well, such as Zosma (δ Leo), Chort (θ Leo), Al Minliar al Asad (κ Leo), Alterf (λ Leo), and Subra (ο Leo). Regulus, η...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Ursa Major (big bear) Constellation -- Location: Northern Hemisphere; Coordinates: Right Ascension: 11h; Declination: +50; Source: Greek, Roman, and Native American mythology The constellation name, Ursa Major, means Big Bear. The "bear" association has its origins in two major civilizations which saw two very different bears in the sky. The Greeks who named this constellation (later translated into the Latin name we use today) thought that the stars outlined the shape of a bear walking...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Big Dipper Constellation (Ursa Major) -- Ursa Major is a constellation visible throughout the year in the northern hemisphere. Its name means "Great Bear" in Latin, and is derived from the legend of Callisto. Its seven brightest stars form a famous asterism known in the United States as the Big Dipper, because the major stars can be seen to follow the rough outline of a large ladle, or dipper. The Big Dipper is recognized as a grouping of stars in many cultures and eras. In the United...

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2004-10-19 04:45:42

Open Cluster -- An open cluster is a group of star formed from a molecular cloud, the illuminated parts of which we see as one or more nebulae. They are also called galactic clusters since they exist within the galaxy. All the stars in an open cluster have more or less the same age and the same chemical composition, so any difference between them is solely due to their mass. Most open clusters are dominated by their O-type and B-type giant blue stars, which are very luminous but...

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