The North­ern Hemi­sphere

Now well into au­tumn, the dark­ened skies bring some astro­nom­i­cal favourites

All About Space - - Stargazer | The Northern Hemisphere -

Cas­siopeia (the Queen) and Cepheus (the King) lie in the dusty path of the Milky Way, of­fer­ing not just a rich star field but im­pres­sive deep-sky ob­jects. In par­tic­u­lar, the Owl Clus­ter (NGC 457) is easy to pick out with de­cent binoc­u­lars, its 75 to 100 bright stars form­ing the shape of an owl with spread wings, while its bright dou­ble star Phi Cas­siopeiae forms the ce­les­tial bird’s eyes. Dou­ble star Al­pha Cas­siopeiae can eas­ily be split, re­solv­ing a bright yel­low pri­mary and faint blue sec­ondary and pro­vid­ing de­light­ful view.

Use the con­stel­la­tions of Pe­ga­sus, Aquarius and Pisces and you’ll be able to lo­cate Ce­tus (the Sea Mon­ster), which con­tains the re­mark­able vari­able star Mira, as well as a wide se­lec­tion of gal­ax­ies.

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