PostHeaderIcon July-August Sky, 2009

July-August 2009 Starmap

Notable Sky Objects

JUPITER

Jupiter will be highly visible late at night, rising not long after sunset in July, and high overhead all night long through the end of August. It will be rising in the Southeast, near the constellation Capricorn.

MERCURY and SATURN

Technically they’ll be in the sky, but they aren’t up for long after sunset, so it will probably be too light to see them this month.

MARS and VENUS

Look towards the constellation Taurus to see Venus rising just after Mars around 3 in the morning in July. In late August, Mars will be rising around midnight in the constellation Gemini, and Venus will still be rising around 2 or 3am in the constellation of Cancer.

EVENTS

July 23- August 22 (peak August 12) – Perseid Meteor Shower, best viewed after midnight.
August 14 – Jupiter at opposition (the Mars Hoax e-mail says Mars will be at opposition in August – it won’t, but you will be able to see Jupiter at opposition instead!)

New Constellations

AQUILA – The Eagle

SCIENCE: Altair is the BEST star in the whole sky.
MYTH: Tanabata: there are versions of this myth all over Asia, all slightly different, but all telling the same basic story. This is one of the Japanese versions. Kengyuu (Altair) is a cowherder boy and he is in love with Orihime (Vega) the weaver princess. They are so in love that they forget to do their chores, and the Emperor decides to punish them. He places them in the sky on opposite sides of Amanogawa, the River of Heaven (the Milky Way) so they cannot meet. The magpies take pity on them, and one day out of the year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (August 26th, 2009), they build a bridge over the Milky Way so the lovers can be together. Unfortunately, if it is raining or cloudy, the magpies are not able to build the bridge.

ANDROMEDA – The Princess

SCIENCE: M31- The Andromeda Galaxy is visible to the naked eye, and better through a telescope.
MYTH: Saudi Arabians called Andromeda “the sea lion”. To the Phoenicians, the whole part of the sky where Andromeda is seen as a threshing floor, and the constellation is a grain thresher working

PERSEUS – Perseus

SCIENCE: The Perseid Meteor shower appears to radiate out of the constellation Perseus. The point meteors all appear to originate is called the “radiant.”
MYTH: For the ancient Chinese, the right side of the constellation Perseus is the Mausoleum. The star just inside the right-hand curl is Jishi – the Heap of Corpses.

PEGASUS – The Flying Horse

SCIENCE: The star at the tip of the horse’s head is called Enif, which means “nose.”
MYTH: The two northernmost stars in the Great Square of Pegasus (α And, and γ Peg: the star attached to Andromeda, and the star next to it that is part of the horse’s back) are the “Encampment” in Chinese mythology. There are three pairs of stars scattered near this asterism which are Ligong or “Resting Places” for the Emperor.

CAPRICORNUS – The Sea Goat

SCIENCE: Jupiter is right beside Capricornus this month.
MYTH: Part of Capricornus along with parts of Pisces and Aquarius make the “Line of Ramparts” in ancient Chinese mythology – a line of fortresses built by the celestial army. Since I can’t read Chinese, I can’t tell you exactly which stars these are, but check the Chinese Starmap.

“Tiny” Guys

Going for the Gold? Here’re this month’s itty-bittys.
CANES VENATICI – The Hunting Dogs
COMA BERENICES – Berenice’s Hair
SERPENS – The Serpent
LIBRA – The Scales
SCUTUM – The Shield
VULPECULA – The Fox
SAGGITA – The Arrow
EQUULEUS – The Horse
LACERTA – The Lizard
TRIANGULUM – The Triangle
LEO MINOR – The Small Lion (Between the Big Dipper and Leo)
CAMELOPARDALIS– The Giraffe
LYNX – The Lynx

Returning Constellations

DELPHINUS – The Dolphin
LYRA – The Lyre
CYGNUS – The Swan
SCORPIUS – The Scorpion
BOÖTES – The Herdsman
HERCULES – Hercules
CORONA BOREALIS – The Northern Crown
CEPHEUS – King Cepheus
DRACO – The Dragon
URSA MAJOR – The Great Bear
URSA MINOR – The Little Bear
CASSIOPEIA – The Queen

Where’d I Get My Info?

My memory, and Zeta Strickland
CHAN Ki-hung, Chinese Ancient Starmap, 2007

~ A l i c e !

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