the north­ern hemi­sphere

The De­cem­ber con­stel­la­tions swing into view, of­fer­ing an im­pres­sive ar­ray of tar­gets to en­joy

All About Space - - Contents -

Aries holds many dou­ble stars that can be split

If you’re a fan of split­ting dou­ble stars with your tele­scope then head over to the constellation of Aries (the Ram), which makes its ap­pear­ance this month, bounded by the star pat­terns of Tau­rus (the Bull), Pisces (the Fishes) and Ce­tus (the Whale). In par­tic­u­lar, bi­nary star sys­tems Lambda Ari­etis, Ep­silon Ari­etis and Me­sarthim are splen­did tar­gets to re­solve for as­tronomers with medium- to large-sized tele­scopes. Mean­while or­ange gi­ants Ha­mal (the Head of the Ram) and Botein (Lit­tle Belly) can be picked out us­ing noth­ing more than the naked eye.

Orion (the Hunter) is also prom­i­nent, fea­tur­ing red su­per­giant

Betel­geuse, De Mairan’s Ne­bula (M43) and the Orion Ne­bula (M42).

Ob­server’s note:The night sky as it ap­pears on 16 De­cem­ber 2018 at ap­prox­i­mately 10pm (GMT).

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