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Title: A Field Book of the Stars
Author: Olcott, William Tyler
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Field Book of the Stars" ***




_Second Edition, revised and enlarged_


  The Knickerbocker Press

  (For Second Edition)

[Illustration: The Knickerbocker Press, New York]

_Printed in the United States of America_


Considering the ease with which a knowledge of the constellations can
be acquired, it seems a remarkable fact that so few are conversant
with these time-honored configurations of the heavens. Aside from a
knowledge of "the Dipper" and "the Pleiades," the constellations to
the vast majority, are utterly unknown.

To facilitate and popularize if possible this fascinating recreation
of star-gazing the author has designed this field-book. It is limited
in scope solely to that purpose, and all matter of a technical or
theoretical nature has been omitted.

The endeavor has been to include in these pages only such matter as
the reader can observe with the naked eye, or an opera-glass.
Simplicity and brevity have been aimed at, the main idea being that
whatever is bulky or verbose is a hindrance rather than a help when
actually engaged in the observation of the heavens.

The constellations embraced in this manual are only those visible from
the average latitude of the New England and Middle States, and owe
their place in the particular season in which they are found to the
fact that in that season they are favorably situated for observation.

With this brief explanatory note of the purpose and design of the
book, the author proceeds to outline the scheme of study.


The table of contents shows the scheme of study to be pursued, and to
facilitate the work it is desirable that the student follow the
therein circumscribed order.

A knowledge on the part of the reader of Ursa Major, or "the Dipper"
as it is commonly called, and "the Pleiades," the well-known group in
Taurus, is presupposed by the author.

With this knowledge as a basis, the student is enabled in any season
to take up the study of the constellations. By following out the order
dictated, he will in a few nights of observation be enabled to
identify the various configurations making up the several
constellations that are set apart for study in that particular season.

A large plate, showing the appearance of the heavens at a designated
time on the first night of the quarter, is inserted before each
season's work. This should be consulted by the student before he makes
an observation, in order that he may obtain a comprehensive idea of
the relative position of the constellations, and also know in what
part of the heavens to locate the constellation which he wishes to

A knowledge of one constellation enables the student to determine the
position of the next in order. In this work, the identification of
each constellation depends on a knowledge of what precedes, always
bearing in mind the fact that each season starts as a new and distinct
part to be taken by itself, and has no bearing on that which comes



  INTRODUCTION                                                iii

  SCHEME OF STUDY                                               v

  The Constellations of Spring.

  MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., APRIL FIRST                        3

  1.  URSA MAJOR                                                4

  2.  URSA MINOR                                                6
      Located by the pointer stars in Ursa Major.

  3.  GEMINI                                                    8
      Located by a line drawn through designated stars
      in Ursa Major.

  4.  AURIGA                                                   10
      Located in the same manner as Gemini.

  5.  CANCER                                                   12
      Located by a line drawn from Auriga to Gemini
      and prolonged.

  6.  HYDRA                                                    14
      The head of Hydra is to be seen just below Cancer.

  7.  LEO                                                      16
      Located by a line drawn from Gemini to Cancer
      and prolonged.

  8.  COMA BERENICES                                           18
      Position indicated by drawing a line through
      designated stars in Leo.

  9.  CANIS MINOR                                              20
      Located by a line drawn from Auriga to Gemini
      and prolonged.

  10. CORVUS                                                   22
      Located by a line drawn from Ursa Minor through
      Ursa Major and prolonged.

  11. CRATER                                                   24
      Located south of Leo and just west of Corvus.

  METEORIC SHOWERS, APRIL TO JULY                              26

  The Constellations of Summer.

  MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., JULY FIRST                        31

  12. DRACO                                                    32
      Lies between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, coiling
      about the latter.

  13. LYRA                                                     34
      Vega, its brightest star, is 12° S.W. of the Dragon's

  14. CYGNUS                                                   36
      Deneb, its brightest star, is about 20° east of Vega.

  15. AQUILA                                                   38
      Located by a line drawn from the Dragon's head
      through Vega and prolonged.

  16. DELPHINUS                                                40
      Located about 10° northeast of Altair in Aquila.

  17. SAGITTARIUS                                              42
      Located by a line drawn from Cygnus to Aquila
      and prolonged.

  18. OPHIUCHUS AND SERPENS                                    44
      Located by a line drawn from Delphinus to Aquila
      and prolonged.

  19. SCORPIUS                                                 46
      Located just under Ophiuchus, and west of Sagittarius.

  20. LIBRA                                                    48
      Located about 15° west of the head of Scorpius.

  21. CORONA BOREALIS                                          50
      Located just above the head of Serpens.

  22. HERCULES                                                 52
      Located by lines drawn from either Vega or Altair
      to Corona.

  23. BOÖTES                                                   54
      Located just west of the Crown. Arcturus, its
      brightest star, is about 30° southeast of η Ursae

  24. VIRGO                                                    56
      Spica, its brightest star, is located by a line drawn
      from Antares in Scorpius through α in Libra and
      prolonged about 20°.

  25. CANES VENATICI                                           58
      Cor Caroli, its brightest star, is about 17° south
      of Alioth in Ursa Major.

  METEORIC SHOWERS, JULY TO OCTOBER                            60

  The Constellations of Autumn.

  MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., OCTOBER FIRST                     65

  26. CASSIOPEIA                                               66
      Located by a line drawn from Ursa Major through
      the Pole star, the position of which is indicated
      by the pointer stars α and β Ursae Majoris.

  27. CEPHEUS                                                  68
      Located by pointer stars in Cassiopeia.

  28. PEGASUS                                                  70
      The great square of Pegasus is located by a line
      drawn from Polaris to Cassiopeia and prolonged.

  29. ANDROMEDA                                                72
      The star Alpheratz in Andromeda is at the northeast
      corner of the great square of Pegasus.

  30. PERSEUS                                                  74
      Lies 9° east of γ Andromedae.

  31. PISCES                                                   76
      The Circlet in Pisces is to be seen just below

  32. TRIANGULUM                                               78
      A line drawn from Pegasus to Perseus passes through
      β in Triangulum.

  33. AQUARIUS                                                 80
      The position of the water jar of Aquarius is determined
      by pointer stars in Pegasus.

  34. CAPRICORNUS                                              82
      The head of the Sea Goat is located by a line drawn
      from α Pegasi through ζ and θ Pegasi and prolonged
      about 25°.

  35. ARIES                                                    84
      Lies just south of Triangulum. A line drawn
      from γ Andromedae through β Trianguli points
      out α Arietis.

  36. CETUS                                                    86
      The head of Cetus lies about 20° southeast of

  37. MUSCA                                                    88
      Located between Triangulum and Aries.

  METEORIC SHOWERS, OCTOBER TO JANUARY                         90

  The Constellations of Winter.

  MAP OF THE HEAVENS 9 P.M., JANUARY FIRST                     95

  38. TAURUS                                                   96
      Contains the celebrated and unmistakable group,
      The Pleiades, to be seen almost overhead in
      the early evening during the Winter months.

  39. ORION                                                    98
      The tips of the horns of the Bull are pointer stars
      to Betelgeuze, in Orion.

  40. LEPUS                                                   100
      Located just below Orion.

  41. COLUMBA                                                 102
      Located south of Lepus, close to the horizon.

  42. CANIS MAJOR                                             104
      Located by a line drawn from the stars forming
      Orion's girdle.

  43. ARGO NAVIS                                              106
      Located by a line drawn from Orion to Canis
      Major and prolonged 18°.

  44. MONOCEROS                                               108
      Located just east of Orion.

  45. ERIDANUS                                                110
      Located just west of Rigel, in Orion.

  METEORIC SHOWERS, JANUARY TO APRIL                          112

  THE PLANETS                                                 115

  THE MILKY WAY                                               124

  THE MOTIONS OF THE STARS                                    126

  METEORS, OR SHOOTING STARS                                  130

  NAMES OF THE STARS AND THEIR MEANINGS                       133

  INDEX                                                       159


The diagrams, it will be observed, are grouped under the seasons, and
they indicate the positions of the constellations as they appear at 9
o'clock P.M. in mid-season.

To facilitate finding and observing the constellations, the student
should face in the direction indicated in the text. This applies to
all constellations excepting those near the zenith.

The four large plates are so arranged that the observer is supposed to
be looking at the southern skies. By turning the plate about from left
to right, the eastern, northern, and western skies are shown

On many of the diagrams the position of nebulæ is indicated. These are
designated by the initial letter of the astronomer who catalogued
them, preceded by his catalogue number, as for instance 8 M. signifies
nebula number 8 in Messier's catalogue.

The magnitudes assigned to the stars in the diagrams are derived from
the Harvard Photometry. When a star is midway between two magnitudes
the numeral is underlined, thus _2_, indicates a star of magnitude 2.5.

If a star's magnitude is between 1 and 1.5 it is regarded as a
first-magnitude star. If it lies between 1.5 and 2 it is designated
second magnitude.


[Illustration: Map showing the principal stars visible from Lat. 40°
N. at 9 o'clock April 1st.]

URSA MAJOR (er´sa mā´-jor)--THE GREAT BEAR. (Face North.)

LOCATION.--Ursa Major is probably the best known of the
constellations, and in this work I presuppose that the reader is
familiar with its position in the heavens. It is one of the most noted
and conspicuous constellations in the northern hemisphere, and is
readily and unmistakably distinguished from all others by means of a
remarkable cluster of seven bright stars in the northern heavens,
forming what is familiarly termed "The Dipper."

The stars α and β are called the pointers, because they always point
toward the Pole Star, 28¾° distant from α.

Alioth is very nearly opposite Shedir in Cassiopeia, and at an equal
distance from the Pole. The same can be said of Megres, in Ursa Major,
and Caph, in Cassiopeia.

The star ο is at the tip of the Bear's nose. A clearly defined
semicircle begins at ο and ends in the pair ι and κ at the extremity
of the Bear's right fore paw. This group of stars resembles a sickle.
Note little Alcor close to Mizar. This star was used by the Arabs as a
test of good eyesight.

Mizar and Alcor are known as the horse and his rider.

This plate shows the Bear lying on his back, his feet projected up the
sky; three conspicuous pairs of stars represent three of his four

The Chaldean shepherds and the Iroquois Indians gave to this
constellation the same name. The Egyptians called it "The Thigh."

α and η are moving through space in a contrary direction to the
remaining five stars in "The Dipper."

[Illustration: URSA MAJOR]

URSA MINOR (er´-sa mi´-nor)--THE LITTLE BEAR. (Face North.)

LOCATION.--The two pointer stars in Ursa Major indicate the position
of Polaris, the North Star, which represents the tip of the tail of
the Little Bear, and the end of the handle of the "Little Dipper." In
all ages of the world, Ursa Minor has been more universally observed
and more carefully noticed than any other constellation, on account of
the importance of the North Star.

Polaris is a little more than 1¼° from the true pole. Its light
takes fifty years to reach us.

A line joining β Cassiopeiæ, and Megres, in Ursa Major, will pass
through Polaris.

At the distance of the nearest fixed star our sun would shine as a
star no brighter than Polaris which is presumably about the sun's

Polaris revolves around the true pole once in twenty-four hours in a
little circle 2½° in diameter. Within this circle two hundred stars
have been photographed.

The North Star is always elevated as many degrees above the horizon as
the observer is north of the equator.

Compare the light of the four stars forming the bowl of the "Little
Dipper," as they are each of a different magnitude. A standard
first-magnitude star is 2½ times brighter than a standard second
magnitude star, etc.

[Illustration: URSA MINOR]

GEMINI (jem´-i-ni)--THE TWINS. (Face West.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from β to κ Ursæ Majoris and prolonged an
equal distance ends near Castor, in Gemini. Gemini is characterized by
two nearly parallel rows of stars. The northern row if extended would
reach Taurus, the southern one Orion. Note the fine cluster 35 M.
Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781 a short distance southwest of it.
Two wonderful streams of little stars run parallel northwest on each
side of the cluster. Where the ecliptic crosses the solstitial colure
is the spot where the sun appears to be when it is farthest north of
the equator, June 21st. Castor is a fine double for a telescope, and
Pollux has three little attendant stars. An isoceles triangle is
formed by Castor, Aldebaran in Taurus, and Capella in Auriga. There is
a record of an occultation in Gemini noted about the middle of the
fourth century B.C.

The Arabs saw in this group of stars two peacocks, the Egyptians two
sprouting plants, and the Hindus twin deities, while in the Buddhist
zodiac they represented a woman holding a golden cord. Since classic
times, however, the figure has always been that of human twins.

At the point indicated near θ a new star was discovered by Enebo in
March, 1912. It attained a maximum of about magnitude 3.5 and has at
this writing waned to the eleventh magnitude.

[Illustration: GEMINI]

AURIGA (â-ri´-ga)--THE CHARIOTEER. (Face Northwest.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from δ to α Ursæ Majoris, and prolonged about
45°, ends near the bright Capella, in Auriga, a star of the first
magnitude, and one of the most brilliant in the heavens. It is
unmistakable, having no rival in brightness near it. Auriga is a
beautiful and conspicuous constellation. It is characterized by a
clearly defined pentagon. Note the three fourth-magnitude stars near
Capella known as "The Kids." The star β is common to Auriga and
Taurus, being the former's right foot and the latter's northern horn.
The field within the pentagon is particularly rich in clusters.
Capella forms a rude square with Polaris, ε Cassiopeiæ, and ο Ursæ
Majoris, and forms an equilateral triangle with Betelgeuze in Orion,
and the Pleiades in Taurus.

A line from θ to α Aurigæ prolonged about 20° ends near α Persei.

Capella is visible at some hour of every clear night throughout the
year. Of the first-magnitude stars it is nearest to the Pole, and it
rises almost exactly in the northeast.

To the Arabs Capella was "The Driver," because it seemed to rise
earlier than the other stars and so apparently watched over them, or
still more practically as "The Singer" who rode before the procession
cheering on the camels, which last were represented by the Pleiades.

[Illustration: AURIGA]

CANCER (kan´-ser)--THE CRAB. (Face West.)

LOCATION.--Cancer lies between Gemini and Leo. A line drawn from Nath
in Auriga to Pollux in Gemini, and prolonged about 15°, ends in
Præsepe, the Manger, the great star cluster in Cancer, which is also
called "The Bee Hive." It contains 300 stars. The stars γ and δ are
called the Aselli--the ass's colts feeding from the silver manger.

The star β lies about 10° northeast of Procyon. Acubens, α lies on the
same line the same distance beyond β. These two stars form the tips of
the inverted "Y" which distinguishes Cancer.

An imaginary line from Capella through Pollux will point out Acubens.
Close to it are two faint stars. The Bee Hive lies within an irregular
square formed by γ, δ, η, and θ, and looks like a nebula to the naked

In June, 1895, all the planets except Neptune were in this quarter of
the heavens, and Halley's comet was in this constellation on its first
appearance in 1531.

The dimness of γ and δ is an infallible precursor of rain, and if the
Bee Hive is not visible in a clear sky, it is a presage of a violent

[Illustration: CANCER]

HYDRA (hi´-dra)--THE SEA-SERPENT. (Face South and Southwest.)

LOCATION.--The head of Hydra, a striking and beautiful arrangement of
stars, lies just below the Bee Hive, in Cancer, 6° south of Acubens in
that constellation, and forms a rhomboidal figure of five stars.

Hydra is about 100° in length and reaches almost from Canis Minor to
Libra. Its stars are all faint except Alphard, or the Hydra's heart, a
second-magnitude star remarkable for its lonely situation, southwest
of Regulus, in Leo. A line drawn from γ Leonis through Regulus points
it out. It is of a rich orange tint. Castor and Pollux, in Gemini,
point southeast to it.

The constellations Crater, the Cup, and Corvus, the Crow, both stand
on the coils of Hydra, south of Denebola, the bright star in the tail
of the Lion.

Hydra is supposed to be the snake shown on a uranographic stone from
the Euphrates, 1200 B.C.

The little asterism Sextans, the Sextant, lies in the region between
Regulus and Alphard. It contains no stars brighter than the fourth

[Illustration: HYDRA]

LEO (le´o)--THE LION. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from Pollux, in Gemini, to γ in Cancer, and
prolonged about 12°, strikes Regulus, the brilliant star in the heart
of the Lion. Regulus lies about 9° east of Acubens, in Cancer, and
about 12° northeast of Alphard, in the heart of Hydra.

Leo is one of the most beautiful constellations in the zodiac. It lies
south of the Great Bear, and its principal stars are arranged in the
form of a sickle which nearly outlines the Lion's head. This group is
so striking as to be unmistakable. Regulus is in the handle of the
sickle. It is one of the stars from which longitude is reckoned, lies
almost exactly on the ecliptic, and is visible for eight months in the

Denebola, the bright star in the Lion's tail, lies 25° east of
Regulus, and about 35° west of Arcturus, in Boötes. It is the same
distance northwest of Spica, in Virgo, and forms with Spica and
Arcturus a large equilateral triangle.

ζ is double, and has three faint companion stars.

ε has two seventh-magnitude companion stars, forming a beautiful
little triangle.

Regulus is white in color, γ yellow, π red.

γ is a beautiful colored telescopic double star and has a companion
visible in an opera-glass.

The figure of Leo very much as we now have it appears in all the
Indian and Egyptian zodiacs.

[Illustration: LEO


COMA BERENICES (kō´-ma ber-e-ni´-sez)--BERENICE'S HAIR.

LOCATION.--A line drawn from Regulus to Zosma, in Leo, and prolonged
an equal distance, strikes this fine cluster, which is 18° northeast
of Zosma, δ Leonis.

The group lies well within a triangle formed by Denebola, Arcturus, in
Boötes, and Cor Caroli, in Canes Venatici, which triangle is the upper
half of the Diamond of Virgo.

Twenty or thirty stars in this group can be counted with an opera-glass,
and the group can be easily distinguished with the naked eye, when the
moon is not visible.

The first half of the month of April can be called the most brilliant
sidereal period of the year. At this time eleven first-magnitude stars
are visible in this latitude at 9 P.M. From east to west they are:
Vega, Arcturus, Spica, Regulus, Pollux, Procyon, Sirius, Capella,
Aldebaran, Betelgeuze, and Rigel, truly a glorious company, an
incomparable sight.

[Illustration: COMA BERENICES]

CANIS MINOR (kā´-nis mi´-nor)--THE LESSER DOG. (Face West.)

LOCATION.--Procyon, the Little Dog Star, lies about 23° south of
Pollux, in Gemini. A line drawn from Nath, in Auriga, to Alhena, in
Gemini, and prolonged about 18°, reaches Procyon.

Procyon is equidistant from Betelgeuze in Orion, and Sirius in Canis
Major, and forms with them an equilateral triangle. It forms a large
right-angled triangle with Pollux and Betelgeuze.

The light from Procyon is golden yellow. Four degrees northwest of it
is the third-magnitude star Gomeisa. The glass shows two small stars
forming a right-angled triangle with it.

Procyon was distinctly mentioned by Ptolemy. It rises in this latitude
a little north of east about half an hour before Sirius, the Dog Star,
hence it was called Procyon from two Greek words which signify "before
the dog."

Procyon is one of our nearest neighbors in space, at a distance of ten
light years, and is attended by a very faint companion which is only
visible in the largest telescopes.

[Illustration: CANIS MINOR]

CORVUS (kôr´-vus)--THE CROW. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from the Bee Hive, in Cancer, through Regulus,
in Leo, and prolonged about 40°, ends near the conspicuous
quadrilateral which distinguishes Corvus. The brightest star in this
region of the sky is Spica, in Virgo. It lies about 10° northeast of

ζ is a double star for an opera-glass. A faint pair of stars lie close
below and to the west of β. The Crow is represented as standing on,
and pecking at, the coils of Hydra. The star Al Chiba is in the Crow's

Corvus was known as the Raven in Chaucer's time.

δ is an interesting telescopic double.

A line drawn from γ to β Corvi and prolonged twice its length locates
the third-magnitude star ι Centauri in the right shoulder of the
Centaur. The brightest stars in this constellation are not visible in
this latitude.

[Illustration: CORVUS]

CRATER (krā´-ter)--THE CUP. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Crater is situated 15° west of Corvus, and due south of θ
Leonis. It is easily distinguished by reason of a beautiful and very
striking semicircle of six stars of the fourth magnitude, forming the
bowl of the cup.

The constellation resembles a goblet with its base resting on the
coils of Hydra.

The star Alkes is common to Hydra and Crater, and may be seen 24°
southeast of Alphard in the heart of Hydra. It is distinguished by its
forming an equilateral triangle with α and γ, stars of the same
magnitude 6° south and east of it.

Corvus and Crater are to be seen half-way up the southern sky during
the early evenings in spring.

δ is now the lucida.

Crater is situated at about the centre of Hydra and is on the
meridian, April 26th. Owing to its many faint stars it is best seen on
a clear moonless night.

The zodiacal light is well worth observing at this season of the year.
It is to be seen in the western sky shortly after sundown, and is most
intense during the evenings of March.

[Illustration: CRATER]



  |                    |         |                    |               | Other Dates |        |
  | Name of Shower     | Date    |   Radiant Point    |Characteristics|      of     |Location|
  |                    |         |                    |               | Observation |        |
  |     Beta or Mu     |Apr. 9-16| The Dragon's head  |               |             |  N.E.  |
  |     Draconids      | Apr. 18 |                    |    Sw. F.     |  Apr. 17-25 |        |
  |  Beta Serpentids   |         | The Serpent's head |               |             |  S.E.  |
  |      Lyrids,       |         |   About 10° from   |               |             |        |
  |    rich shower     | Apr. 20 |    Vega toward     |    V. Sw.     |             |  N.E.  |
  |                    |         |      Hercules      |               |             |        |
  |   Eta Aquarids,    |  May 6  |   Near the Water   |    Sw. Sk.    | After 2 A.M.|   E.   |
  | fine annual shower |         |        Jar         |               |             |        |
  |   Alpha Coronids,  | May 11  |     Near Gemma     |    Sl. F.     |  May 7-18   |   N.   |
  |well defined in 1885|         |   (α) Coronæ B.    |               |             |        |
  |   Iota Pegasids,   |         |   Between Cygnus   |               |   May 29-   |        |
  |well defined shower | May 30  |   and the Great    |    Sw. Sk.    |June 4 after |  N.E.  |
  |                    |         |       Square       |               |   10 P.M.   |        |
  |  Beta Herculids    | June 7  |  Near the Crown    |    Sl. B.     | A fire ball |  S.E.  |
  |                    |         | About 8°S. of Ras  |               |   radiant   |        |
  |  Beta Ophiuchids   | June 10 |      Alhague       |      Sl.      | June 10, 13 |  S.E.  |
  |   Delta Cepheids   | June 20 |  About 13° from    |               | June 10-28, |        |
  |                    |         |  (β) Cassiopeiæ    |      Sw.      |July 19, Aug.|   N.   |
  |                    |         |                    |               |  25, etc.   |        |

The Abbreviations under _Characteristics_ are as follows:

 Sk.--streak-leaving meteors.
 T.--train-leaving meteors.


[Illustration: Maps showing the principal stars visible from Lat. 40°
N. at 9 o'clock, July first.]

DRACO (drā´-ko)--THE DRAGON. (Face North.)

LOCATION.--About 10° from α Ursæ Majoris--from α to δ is 10°--slightly
south of, that is above, the line from α to Polaris, is Giansar, λ in
the tip of the Dragon's tail. Above λ, and almost in line with it, are
two more stars in Draco, which form with two stars in Ursa Major a
quadrilateral. (See diagram.) Draco now curves sharply eastward,
coiling about the Little Bear as shown, then turns abruptly southerly,
ending in a characteristic and clearly defined group of four stars,
forming an irregular square, representing the Dragon's head. This
group is almost overhead in the early evening in summer. The star in
the heel of Hercules lies just south of the Dragon's head. The
brilliant Vega will be seen about overhead, 12° southwest of the
Dragon's head. Eltanin, one of the Dragon's eyes, is noted for its
connection with the discovery of the law of aberration of light. It is
of an orange hue, while the star β, near it, is white. Note Thuban,
once the Pole Star, at one corner of a quadrilateral that Draco forms
with Ursa Major.

Thuban could be seen by day or night from the bottom of the central
passage of several of the Pyramids in Egypt.

The rising of Eltanin was visible about thirty-five hundred years B.C.
through the central passages of the temples of Hathor at Denderah. The
Egyptians called Draco "The Hippopotamus."

Vega and the four stars in the Dragon's head offer an opportunity to
compare the first five stellar magnitudes with which all should be

[Illustration: DRACO]

LYRA (lī´-ra)--THE LYRE.

LOCATION.--Lyra may be easily distinguished because of the brilliant
Vega, its brightest star, which is situated about 12° southwest of the
Dragon's head. It is unmistakable, as it is the brightest star in this
region of the heavens, and the third brightest in this latitude. In
July and August Vega is close to the zenith in the early evening.

The six bright stars in Lyra form an equilateral triangle on one
corner of a rhomboid. A very characteristic figure.

ε is a pretty double for an opera-glass, and a 3" glass reveals the
duplicity of each star of this pair. ε is therefore a double double.

ζ is a double for a good glass.

β is a variable, changing from magnitude 3.4 to 4.4 in twelve days. At
its brightest it is about equal to its near neighbor γ Lyræ.

The noted ring nebula lies between β and γ. A 3" glass reveals it but
a powerful telescope is required to render its details visible.

If the distance from the earth to the sun equalled one inch, the
distance from the earth to Vega would be 158 miles.

Vega was the first star to be photographed, in 1850. It is visible at
some hour every clear night, and has been called the arc-light of the
sky. Its light has the bluish-white hue that suggests "a diamond in
the sky."

The spectroscope reveals that Vega is a star probably only in its
infancy, as hydrogen is its predominating element.

[Illustration: LYRA]


LOCATION.--Deneb, the brightest star in Cygnus, is at the top of the
cross, and a little over 20° east of Vega. It forms a triangle with
Vega and Altair in Aquila--Altair being at the apex, about 35° from
Deneb and Vega.

β Cygni is at the base of the cross, and a line drawn from Vega to
Altair nearly touches it. It is a beautiful colored double for a small

Note "61," one of the nearest stars to us. It was the first star whose
distance was measured (by Bessel in 1838). It is a double star and
10.4 light years distant.

The cross is nearly perfect and easily traced out. It lies almost
wholly in the Milky Way.

Note "The Coal Sack," one of the dark gap in the Milky Way.

Cygnus contains an unusual number of deeply colored stars and variable

ο Cygni has a sixth-magnitude companion, and γ is in the midst of a
beautiful stream of faint stars.

This region is perhaps richer than any similar extent in the heavens.
An opera-glass will reveal many of its beauties.

Herschel counted 331,000 stars in an area of only 5° in Cygnus.

[Illustration: CYGNUS]

AQUILA (ak´-wi-lä)--THE EAGLE, AND ANTINOÜS. (Face Southeast.)

LOCATION.--Half-way up the sky in the Milky Way, you will see three
stars in a line, the middle one much brighter than the other two. This
bright star is Altair, in Aquila. It forms with Vega and Deneb an
isosceles triangle. Altair is at the apex, about 35° from the other
two. A triangle is formed by Vega, Altair, and Ras Alhague, in the
Serpent Bearer, which is about 30° west of Altair.

This is a double constellation composed of Aquila and Antinoüs. Altair
is in the neck of the Eagle, Alschain in the head of Antinoüs.

When the moon is absent, a rude arrowhead can be traced out, embracing
almost all the stars in Aquila.

η is an interesting variable star, changing from magnitude 3.5 to 4.7
and back again within a period of 7 days 4 hours 12 minutes.

Altair rises about 8° north of the exact eastern point on the horizon.

In A.D. 389 a wonderful temporary star flashed out near Altair that
equalled Venus in brightness and vanished within three weeks' time.

[Illustration: AQUILA



LOCATION.--The little cluster of five stars forming Delphinus is to be
seen about 10° northeast of Altair, and, though there are no bright
stars in the group, it can hardly escape notice. A line drawn from
Vega to Albireo, and prolonged about 20°, strikes the star ε in the
tail of the Dolphin. The four other stars of prominence in the
constellation are a little above ε, and form a diamond-shaped figure.

The little asterisms Sagitta, the Arrow, and Vulpecula and Anser, the
Fox and Goose, are shown just above Delphinus.

Delphinus is also called Job's Coffin. The origin of this appellation
is unknown.

In Greece, Delphinus was the Sacred Fish, the sky emblem of
philanthropy. The Arabs called it the "Riding Camel."

The star γ Delphini is a fine double for a small telescope with a
marked and beautiful contrast of colors.

The names for α and β reversed spell "Nicolaus Venator," the Latinized
name of the assistant to the astronomer Piazzi.

[Illustration: DELPHINUS]

SAGITTARIUS (saj-i-tā-ri-us)--THE ARCHER. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from Deneb, in Cygnus, to Altair, in Aquila,
and prolonged an equal distance, terminates in Sagittarius about 10°
east of its distinguishing characteristic, the Milk Dipper.
Sagittarius is one of the signs of the zodiac, and lies between
Capricornus, on the east, and Scorpius, on the west.

The bow is easily traced out. γ marks the arrow's tip.

Note the star μ, which serves to point out the Winter Solstice, where
the solstitial colure intersects the ecliptic.

On a clear night, the pretty cluster known as Corona Australis, the
Southern Crown, can be seen about 10° below the bowl of the Milk
Dipper. Its lucida, the fourth-magnitude star Alfecca Meridiana
culminates at 9 P.M., August 13th.

Sagittarius is about due south, in a splendid position for
observation, during the month of July, between the hours of
nine-thirty and eleven o'clock P.M.

Observe with an opera-glass the fine clusters 20 M. and 8 M., also an
almost circular black void near the stars γ and δ, and to the east of
this spot another of narrow crescent form.

The stars φ and ζ in the Milk Dipper are moving in opposite
directions. Future generations therefore will not have this
time-honored figure to guide them in locating the Archer in their
summer night skies.

[Illustration: SAGITTARIUS]


LOCATION.--A line drawn from ε Delphini to γ Aquilæ, prolonged about
30°, strikes the star Ras Alhague, the brightest star in the
constellation and the head of Ophiuchus. It is at one angle of an
isosceles triangle, of which Altair is at the apex, and Vega the third

Two constellations are here combined. Ophiuchus is represented as an
old man, holding in his hands a writhing serpent.

Ras Algethi, marking the head of Hercules, lies just west of Ras

Equally distant southeast and southwest of Ras Alhague are to be seen
two stars close together, representing the shoulders of Ophiuchus. His
foot rests on the Scorpion just above Antares.

The head of Serpens is the star group in the form of an "X" just below
the Crown.

1604 indicates the spot where in that year a famous temporary star
appeared, called Kepler's star.

Note the asterism the "Bull of Poniatowski" just east of γ. The star
marked 70 is one of the most distant stars for which a parallax has
been obtained. Its distance from the earth = 1,300,000 radii of the
earth's orbit, or 120 quadrillion miles.

There is something remarkable in the central position of this gigantic
figure. It is situated almost exactly in the mid-heavens, being nearly
equidistant from the poles, and midway between the vernal and autumnal

[Illustration: OPHIUCHUS


SCORPIUS (skôr´-pi-us)--THE SCORPION. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Scorpius, one of the signs of the zodiac, is a beautiful
star group, and one that is easily traced out. It lies just under the
Serpent Bearer, between Sagittarius and Libra.

The resemblance to a Scorpion is not difficult to see, hence this
constellation is perhaps the most aptly named of any.

The ruddy star Antares, the brightest star in the constellation, is in
the heart of the Scorpion. It lies about 40° southwest of Ras Alhague,
in Ophiuchus, and a little over 20° west of the bow of Sagittarius.
The fact that it is the most brilliant star in this region of the sky
renders its identity unmistakable. It is one of the reddest stars in
the firmament.

There are several star clusters and double stars to be seen in this
constellation. Their position is indicated in the diagram.

The curved tail of the Scorpion is very conspicuous. λ and υ are a
striking pair and the fine clusters above them can be seen with the
naked eye.

A record of a lunar occultation of β Scorpii in 295 B.C. is extant.

Note a pair just below β. They are known as ω¹ and ω².

In this region of the sky have appeared many of the brilliant
temporary stars, the first one in astronomical annals being discovered
in 134 B.C.

Scorpius is mentioned by all the early writers on astronomy and is
supposed to be so named because in Egypt it was a sickly time of the
year when the sun entered this sign.

[Illustration: SCORPIUS]

LIBRA (lī´-bra)--THE SCALES. (Face Southwest.)

LOCATION.--Libra is one of the signs of the zodiac, and lies between
Virgo and Scorpius. Its two chief stars, α and β, may be recognized
west of and above the head of the Scorpion.

The star ι Libræ is about 20° northwest of Antares in the Scorpion.
Spica in Virgo, a star of the first magnitude, is a little over 20°
northwest of α Libræ.

A quadrilateral is formed by the stars α, β, γ, ε, which characterizes
the constellation.

The star α Libræ looks elongated. An opera-glass shows that it has a
fifth-magnitude companion.

β is a pale green star. Its color is very unusual.

Lyra, Corona, and Hercules are almost directly overhead in the early
evening, during July and August, and can best be observed in a
reclining position. Thus placed, with an opera-glass to assist the
vision, you may study to the best advantage the wonderful sight spread
out before you, and search depths only measured by the power of your

When the sun enters the sign Libra the days and nights are equal all
over the world and seem to observe a certain equilibrium like a
balance, hence the name of the constellation.

[Illustration: LIBRA]

CORONA BOREALIS (kō-rō´nä bō-rē-a´-lis)--THE NORTHERN CROWN.

LOCATION.--A line drawn from α Cygni, to α Lyræ, and projected a
little over 40°, terminates in the Crown, which lies between Hercules
and Boötes, and just above the diamond-shaped group of stars in the
head of the Serpent.

The characteristic semicircle resembling a crown is easily traced out.
The principal stars are of the fourth magnitude excepting Gemma, which
is a second-magnitude star and known as the "Pearl of the Crown."

Gemma, sometimes called Alphacca, forms with the stars Seginus and
Arcturus, in Boötes, an isosceles triangle, the vertex of which is at

Close to ε a famous temporary appeared suddenly May 12, 1866, as a
second-magnitude star. It was known as the "Blaze Star" and was
visible to the naked eye only eight days, fading at that time to a
tenth-magnitude star, and then rising to an eighth-magnitude, where it
still remains.

The native Australians called this constellation "The Boomerang." To
the Hebrews it was "Ataroth" and by this name it is known in the East
to-day. No two of the seven stars composing the Crown are moving in
the same direction or at the same rate.

α Coronæ is seventy-eight light years distant and sixty times brighter
than the sun.

[Illustration: CORONA BOREALIS]

HERCULES (her´-kū-lēz)--THE KNEELER.

LOCATION.--A line drawn from either Vega, in Lyra, or Altair, in Aquila,
to Gemma, in Corona Borealis, passes through this constellation. The
left foot of Hercules rests on the head of Draco, on the north, and his
head nearly touches the head of Ophiuchus on the south.

The star in the head of Hercules, Ras Algethi, is about 25° southeast
of Corona Borealis.

α Ophiuchi and α Herculis are only about 5° apart.

The cluster 13 M., the Halley Nebula, can be easily seen in an
opera-glass. In a recent photograph of this cluster 50,000 stars are
shown in an area of sky which would be entirely covered by the full

Hercules occupies the part of the heavens toward which the sun is
bearing the earth and planets at the rate of twelve miles a second or
373 million miles a year.

On a clear night the asterism Cerberus, the three-headed dog, which
Hercules holds in his hand, can be seen.

This constellation is said to have been an object of worship in
Phœnicia. There is a good deal of mystery about its origin. The
ancient Greeks called it "The Phantom" and "The Man upon his Knees."

The stars ε, ζ, η, and π form a keystone shaped figure that serves to
identify the constellation.

[Illustration: HERCULES]


LOCATION.--Boötes lies just west of the Crown, and east of Cor Caroli.
It may be easily distinguished by the position and splendor of its
principal star, Arcturus, which shines with a golden yellow lustre. It
is about 35° east of Denebola, in Leo, and nearly as far north of
Spica, in Virgo, and forms with these two a large equilateral
triangle. A line drawn from ζ to η Ursæ Majoris and prolonged about
30° locates it, as does one from δ Herculis to γ Coronæ prolonged its

The brightest stars in Boötes outline a characteristic kite-shaped
figure. Arcturus is mentioned in the Book of Job and is often referred
to as "The Star of Job."

Three stars of the fourth magnitude are situated in the right hand.
They are about 5° north of η Ursæ Majoris.

Contrast the color of Arcturus with Spica, Antares, and Vega.

The trapezium β, γ, δ, and μ, was called "The Female Wolves," by the
Arabians; θ, ι, κ and λ, "The Whelps of the Hyenas." They knew the
constellation as "The Vociferator."

Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the northern hemisphere. It
is 1000 times the size of our sun and rushes through space toward
Virgo at the astounding rate of ninety miles a second. It is forty
light years distant.

The ancient Greeks called this constellation "Lycaon," a name which
signifies a Wolf. The Hebrew name for it was "The Barking Dog."

[Illustration: BOÖTES]

VIRGO (ver´-gō)--THE VIRGIN. (Face West.)

LOCATION.--An imaginary line drawn from Antares in Scorpius through α
Libræ and prolonged a little over 20° strikes Spica, the brightest
star in Virgo, which star is about 30° southwest of Arcturus.

Arcturus, Cor Caroli, Denebola, and Spica form a figure about 50° in
length, called the Diamond of Virgo.

The equator, ecliptic, and equinoctial colure intersect each other at
a point close to the star η. This is called the autumnal equinox.

The star ε is known as the "Grape Gatherer." It is observed to rise
just before the sun at vintage time.

Within the rude square formed by Denebola, and ε, γ, and β, Virginis,
the telescope reveals many wonderful nebulæ; hence this region of the
sky has been called "The Field of the Nebula."

Spica is an extremely beautiful pure white star. It rises a very
little south of the exact eastern point on the horizon.

γ is a fine double star for a small telescope.

Virgo is mentioned by the astronomers of all ages. By the Egyptians it
was intended to represent the goddess Isis, and the Greeks knew it as
Ceres. Spica represents the ear of corn held in the Virgin's left

[Illustration: VIRGO]

CANES VENATICI (kā´-nēz ve-nat´-i-cī)--THE HUNTING DOGS. (Face

LOCATION.--Cor Caroli, the bright star in this constellation, when on
the meridian is about 17° south of ε Ursæ Majoris. A line drawn from η
Ursæ Majoris, through Berenice's Hair, to Denebola, in Leo, passes
through it.

The dogs, Asterion and Chara, are represented as being held in leash
by Boötes, the herdsman, in his pursuit of the Great Bear.

Cor Caroli is in the southern hound, Chara, and represents the heart
of Charles II of England. It is a beautiful double star in a small

The so-called "Diamond of Virgo," is clearly shown on this plate. It
is formed by connecting with lines the stars Cor Caroli, Denebola,
Spica, and Arcturus.

The fifth-magnitude star La Superba, about 7° north and 2½° west of
Cor Caroli, is especially noteworthy because of the flashing
brilliancy of its prismatic rays.

[Illustration: CANES VENATICI]



  |               |        |                |               |   Other Dates  |        |
  |Name of Shower |  Date  | Radiant Point  |Characteristics|       of       |Location|
  |               |        |                |               | of Observation |        |
  |               |        |   Between      |               | June 13-July 7 |        |
  |Vulpeculids or | July 4 |  Cygnus and    |     Sw.       |    Apr. 20,    |  E.    |
  | Eta Sagittids |        |   Delphinus    |               |     May 30     |        |
  |               |        |  Near Deneb    |               |  July 11-19,   |        |
  |   Cygnids     |July 19 |   (α) Cygni    |  Sh. Sw. F.   |  Aug. 22, July |  E.    |
  |               |        |                |               |  6-Aug. 16     |        |
  |               |        |  Between (α)   |  Sw. B. Sk.   | July 23-Aug. 4 |        |
  |(α)-(β)        |July 25 |      and       |    after      |    Sept. 15,   |  N.E.  |
  |Perseids       |        |  (β) Persei    |    10 P.M.    |    Nov. 13     |        |
  |Aquarids, a    |        |    Near the    |               |                |        |
  |conspicuous    |July 28 |  water jar of  |   Sl. B.      |                |  E.    |
  |shower         |        |    Aquarius    |               |                |        |
  |Perseids, fine |Aug. 10 |   Near (α)     |  v. Sw. Sk.   |                |  N.E.  |
  |shower         |        |    Persei      |               |                |        |
  |Kappa Cygnids  |Aug. 17 |    Near the    | Sw. B.T. Sh.  |Jan. 17, Aug. 4,|  S.E.  |
  |               |        |  Dragon's head |               |Aug. 21-25      |        |
  |               |        | Near Capella   | After 9.30    |   Sept. 22,    |        |
  |Alpha Aurigids |Aug. 21 |  (α) Aurigæ    |     P.M.      |    Oct. 2      |  N.E.  |
  |               |        |                | v. Sw. Sk.    |                |        |
  |   Omicron     |        |    Near the    |               |                |        |
  |Draconids. Rich|Aug. 22 | Dragon's head  |    Sl. T.     |  Aug. 21-25    |   N    |
  |shower in 1879 |        |                |               |                |        |
  |               |        |Between Capella |  After 10     |  Aug. 21, 25,  |        |
  |  Epsilon      |Sept. 7 |    and the     |     P.M.      | Sept. 6-8, 21, |  N.E.  |
  | Perseids      |        |    Pleiades    | v. Sw. Sk.    |    Nov. 29.    |        |
  |Alpha Arietids |Sept. 21|   Near Hamal   |   Sl. T.      | Aug. 12, Oct. 7|   E.   |
  |               |        |  (α) Arietis   |               |                |        |
  |Gamma Pegasids |Sept. 22| Near and S.E.  |    Sl.        | July 31, Aug.  |   E.   |
  |               |        |  of Great Sq.  |               |   25, etc.     |        |

The Perseids are of a yellowish color, and move with medium velocity.
Their line of flight is from northeast to southwest. They are probably
visible for more than a month, from the latter half of July to the
last week in August.

The August meteors are known as the "Tears of St. Lawrence."

The Abbreviations under _Characteristics_ are as follows:

 Sk.--Streak-leaving meteors.
 T.--Train-leaving meteors.
 Sh.--Short meteors.


[Illustration: Map showing the principal stars visible from Lat. 40°
N. at 9 o'clock, October first.]

CASSIOPEIA (kas-i-ō-pē´-ya)--THE LADY IN THE CHAIR. (Face North.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from δ Ursæ Majoris, through Polaris, strikes
α Cassiopeiæ. It is situated the same distance from Polaris as Ursa
Major, and about midway between Polaris and the zenith in the Milky
Way. Cassiopeia is characterized by a zigzag row of stars which form a
rude "W," but in mid-autumn, to an observer facing north, the "W"
appears more like an "M," and is almost overhead. Note the spot marked
1572. This is where a very famous temporary star appeared in that
year. It was bright enough at one time to be seen in full sunshine.
The star η is sixteen light years distant.

Caph is equidistant from the Pole, and exactly opposite the star
Megres in Ursa Major; with α Andromedæ and γ Pegasi it marks the
equinoctial colure. These stars are known as "The Three Guides."

The chair can be readily traced out; β, α, and γ mark three of the
four corners of the back, and δ and ε, one of the front legs. The word
"Bagdei," made up of the letters for the principal stars, assists the

The stars γ and β are pointer stars to a fifth-magnitude star the
lucida of the asterism Lacerta, the lizard about 15° from β.

Cassiopeia makes an excellent illuminated clock. When β is above
Polaris it is noon, when it is in the west at right angles to its
first position it is 6 P.M. At midnight it is on the northern horizon,
and at 6 P.M. it is due east.

This is sidereal time which agrees with mean time on March 22d, and
gains on the latter at the rate of two hours a month.

[Illustration: CASSIOPEIA]

CEPHEUS (sē´-fūs) (Face North.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from α to β Cassiopeiæ and prolonged about 18°
strikes α Cephei. The nearest bright star west of Polaris is γ Cephei.
Cepheus is an inconspicuous constellation, lying partly in the Milky
Way. A view of this constellation through an opera-glass will repay
the observer. Cepheus is characterized by a rude square, one side of
which is the base of an isosceles triangle. Look for the so-called
garnet star μ, probably the reddest star visible to the naked eye in
the United States. The star ζ has a blue companion star.

α forms an equilateral triangle with Polaris and ε Cassiopeiæ.

It is claimed that Cepheus was known to the Chaldæans twenty-three
centuries before our era.

Surrounding δ, ε, ζ, and λ, which mark the king's head, is a vacant
space in the Milky Way, similar to the Coal Sack of Cygnus.

About 4° from γ, in the direction of κ is a pretty pair of
sixth-magnitude stars.

Owing to precession, γ, β, and α Cephei will be successively the Pole
Star in 4500, 6000, and 7500 A.D. respectively.

δ is a double whose components are yellow and blue. It is an
interesting variable changing from magnitude 3.7 to 4.9 at intervals
of 5 days 8 hours 47 minutes. As it is three times as bright at
maximum as at minimum and can be observed with the naked eye its
variations are well worth observing.

[Illustration: CEPHEUS]

PEGASUS (peg´-a-sus)--THE WINGED HORSE. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--One corner of the Great Square is found by drawing a line
from Polaris to Cassiopeia, and prolonging it an equal distance.

The Great Square is a stellar landmark. Three of the corners of the
square are marked by stars in Pegasus; the fourth, and northeastern,
corner is marked by the star Alpheratz in Andromeda. Each side of the
square is about 18° long.

The horse is generally seen upside down, with his fore feet projected
up into the sky. Only the head, neck, and fore feet are represented.
The star Enif marks the nose.

π is an interesting double, easily seen in an opera-glass. All the
stars of the Square are approaching us at an inconceivable speed.

The position of the asterism Equus or Equūleus, the Little Horse, or
Horse's Head, is shown in the diagram.

Delphinus, the water jar of Aquarius, and the circlet in the Western
Fish, are all in the vicinity of Pegasus, and indicated in the

The winged horse is found on coins of Corinth 500 to 430 B.C. The
Greeks called this constellation ἱπποσ.

Pegasus seems to have been regarded in Phœnicia and Egypt as the sky
emblem of a ship.

Within the area of the Square Argelander counted thirty naked-eye

Note a fine pair in Equūleus just west of the star Enif in Pegasus.

The position of the equinoctial colure is defined by a line connecting
Polaris, β Cassiopeiæ, α Andromedæ, and γ Pegasi.

[Illustration: PEGASUS]


LOCATION.--The star α Alpheratz is at the northeastern corner of the
great square of Pegasus, one of the stellar landmarks.

Running east from α, at almost equal distances, are four other stars,
two of which are of the second magnitude. The most easterly one is β
Persei, known as Algol, the famous variable. Lines connecting the
stars γ Andromedæ, Algol, and α Persei form a right-angled triangle.
The right angle is marked by Algol.

The chief object of interest in this constellation is the great
nebula, the first to be discovered. It can be seen by the naked eye
and it is a fine sight in an opera-glass. Its location is indicated in
the diagram.

The star γ is the radiant point of the Bielid meteors, looked for in
November. It is a colored double visible in a 3" glass.

The great nebula has been called the "Queen of the Nebulæ." It is said
to have been known as far back as A.D. 905, and it was described 986
A.D. as the "Little Cloud."

Andromeda is very favorable for observation in September, low in the
eastern sky.

Note the characteristic "Y" shaped asterism known as Gloria Frederika
or Frederik's Glory. It lies about at the apex of a nearly isosceles
triangle of which a line connecting Alpheratz and β Pegasi is the
base. A line drawn from δ to α Cassiopeiæ and prolonged a little over
twice its length points it out.

[Illustration: ANDROMEDA]

PERSEUS (per´-sūs)--THE CHAMPION. (Face Northeast.)

LOCATION.--α Persei lies on a line drawn from β to γ Andromedæ, and is
about 9° from the latter. The most striking feature in Perseus is the
so-called "segment of Perseus," a curve of stars beginning about 12°
below Cassiopeia, and curving toward Ursa Major. Note the famous
variable Algol the Demon star. It represents the Medusa's head which
Perseus holds in his hand. It varies from the second to the fourth
magnitude in about three and one-half hours, and back again in the
same time, after which it remains steadily brilliant for two and
three-quarters days, when the same change recurs. Algenib and Algol
form with γ Andromedæ, a right-angled triangle.

Note a dull red star near Algol, and a pretty pair just above Algenib.

An opera-glass reveals much that is worthy of observation in this
region of the sky. It has been said of the clusters between Cassiopeia
and Perseus that they form the most striking sidereal spectacle in the
northern heavens. They are visible to the naked eye. Algenib never
sets in the latitude of New York, just touching the horizon at its
lower culmination. It is estimated that Algol is a little over a
million miles in diameter, η has three faint stars on one side nearly
in a line, and one on the other--a miniature representation of Jupiter
and his satellites.

Algol, when on the meridian of New York City, is only one tenth of a
degree from the zenith point. This remarkable variable has a dark
companion star revolving near it obscuring its light in part from us
at stated intervals. By means of the spectroscope the speed diameter
and mass of this invisible star has been reckoned.

[Illustration: PERSEUS]

PISCES (pis´ēz)--THE FISHES. (Face Southeast.)

LOCATION.--This constellation is represented by two fishes each with a
ribbon tied to its tail. One, the Northern Fish, lies just below β
Andromedæ,--the other, represented by the circlet, is just below
Pegasus. The ribbons, represented by streams of faint stars, from a
"V" with elongated sides, and terminate in the star Al Rischa, The

Below ω, and to the east of λ the spot marked (*) is the place which
the sun occupies at the time of the equinox. It is one of the two
crossing places of the equinoctial, or equator, of the heavens, and
the ecliptic, or sun's path.

Below Pisces is Cetus, the Whale.

Pisces is thought to have taken its name from its coincidence with the
sun during the rainy season.

Three distinct conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn took place in this
constellation in the year 747 of Rome.

Pisces was considered the national constellation of the Jews, as well
as a tribal symbol.

In 1881, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus were grouped together in Pisces.

The Circlet is a very striking group forming a pentagon. The glass
reveals two faint stars in addition, making the figure seven-sided or
elliptical in form.

As to the number of the stars as classified according to their
magnitude, that is their brightness, it may be mentioned that there
are approximately 20 stars of the first magnitude, 65 of the second,
300 of the third, and 450 of the fourth. We cannot see stars fainter
than the sixth magnitude with the naked eye.

[Illustration: PISCES]

TRIANGULUM (trī-an´-gū-lum)--THE TRIANGLE. (Face East.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from the star γ Pegasi to Algol in Perseus
passes through β Trianguli.

The triangle is clearly defined and a beautiful figure. It lies just
below Andromeda, and above Aries.

Triangulum is a very ancient constellation, being formerly named
Deltoton, from the Greek letter Delta Δ.

It was in this locality that Piazzi discovered the asteroid Ceres,
January 1, 1800.

α Trianguli is sometimes called "Caput Trianguli."

α and β Trianguli were known as "The Scale Beam." According to
Argelander the constellation contains fifteen stars.

The Triangle has been likened to the Trinity, and the Mitre of St.

[Illustration: TRIANGULUM]

AQUARIUS (a-kwā´ri-us)--THE WATER CARRIER. (Face Southwest.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from β Pegasi to α of the same constellation,
and prolonged as far again, ends just east of the so-called water jar
of Aquarius, which is formed by a group of four stars in the form of a
"Y," as indicated in the diagram. The Arabians called these four stars
a tent.

The jar is represented as inverted, allowing a stream of water
represented by dim stars in pairs and groups of three stars, to
descend, ending in the bright star Fomalhaut, the mouth of the
Southern Fish.

A rough map of South America can be traced in the stars θ, λ, τ, δ,
88, ι.

A rude dipper can be made out in the western part of the
constellation, formed of the stars α, β, ν, ε.

The stars τ and ζ are doubles. Of the former pair, one is white, the
other orange in color. Fomalhaut was the object of sunrise worship in
the temple of Demeter at Eleusis in 500 B.C. The ancients called this
region of the sky "the Sea."

In the vicinity of δ, Mayer observed in 1756 what he termed a fixed
star. Herschel thought it a comet. It proved to be the planet Uranus.

ζ is almost exactly on the celestial equator.

λ is a red star, the most prominent of the first stars in the stream.
The stars in Piscis Australis can be traced out with an opera-glass.

Fomalhaut and Capella, in Auriga, rise almost exactly at the same

Fomalhaut is one of the four "royal stars" of astrology. The others
are Regulus, Antares, and Aldebaran.

[Illustration: AQUARIUS]

CAPRICORNUS (kap-ri-kôr´-nus)--THE SEA GOAT. (Face Southwest.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from α Pegasi through ζ and θ in the same
constellation, and projected about 25°, strikes α and β in

This constellation contains three principal stars--α and β mentioned
above, and δ about 20° east of them.

The water jar of Aquarius is about the same distance northeast of δ
Capricorni that Fomalhaut, in the Southern Fish, is southeast of it.

α has a companion which can be seen by the naked eye. It is a fine
sight in an opera-glass. These two stars are gradually separating.

β is a double star, one being blue, the other yellow.

The constellation resembles a chapeau, or peaked hat, upside down.

The stars in the head of the Sea Goat, α and β are only 2° apart, and
can hardly be mistaken by an observer facing the southwestern sky
during the early evening in autumn.

Five degrees east of δ is the point announced by Le Verrier as the
position of his predicted new planet, Neptune.

Flammarion claims that the Chinese astronomers noted the five planets
in conjunction in Capricornus, in the year 2449 B.C.

The sign of the Goat was called by the ancient Orientalists "The
Southern Gate of the Sun."

[Illustration: CAPRICORNUS]

ARIES (ā´-ri-ēz)--THE RAM. (Face Southeast.)

LOCATION.--The star α in Aries, known as Hamal, and sometimes as
Arietis, a star of the second magnitude, is about 7° south of α
Trianguli. A line drawn from the Pole Star to γ Andromedæ, and
prolonged about 20°, ends at Hamal.

Aries contains three principal stars, forming a characteristic
obtuse-angled triangle.

The star γ Arietis was one of the first double stars discovered. A
telescope is required to split it. Hamal lies near the path of the
moon, and is one of the stars from which longitude is reckoned.

Below Aries may be seen the characteristic pentagon in the head of
Cetus, the Whale.

More than two thousand years ago Aries was the leading constellation
of the zodiac, and now stands first in the list of zodiacal signs.

The Arabians knew this constellation as Al Hamal, the sheep.

β and γ are one instance out of many where stars of more than ordinary
brightness are seen together in pairs, the brightest star being
generally on the east.

[Illustration: ARIES]

CETUS (sē´-tus)--THE WHALE. (Face Southeast.)

LOCATION.--A line drawn from Polaris, to δ Cassiopeiæ, and prolonged
two and one third times its original length, reaches the centre of
this constellation.

It lies just below Aries and the Triangle, and resembles the figure of
the prehistoric icthyosaurus, while some see in the outline an easy
chair. The head of the beast is characterized by a clearly traced
pentagon, about 20° southeast of Aries. The brightest star in the
constellation is α of the second magnitude. It is at one apex of the
pentagon, about 15° east of Al Rischa in Pisces, and 37° directly
south of Algol.

The noted variable Mira also known as ο Ceti is the chief object of
interest in this constellation.

It was discovered by Fabricius in 1596 and varies from the ninth
magnitude to the third or fourth in a period of 334 days. It can be
observed during its entire range with a 3" glass.

In 1779 Mira is reported to have been as bright as the first-magnitude
star Aldebaran. It lies almost exactly on a line joining γ and ζ Ceti
a little nearer the former. Ten degrees south of it are four faint
stars about 3° apart forming a square.

τ Ceti is one of our nearest neighbors at a distance of nine light

ζ is a naked-eye double star.

[Illustration: CETUS]

MUSCA (mus´-kä)--THE FLY. (Face Southeast.)

LOCATION.--Musca lies between Triangulum and Aries, the diagram
clearly defining its position.

The four stars composing it form a group shaped like the letter "Y."

There is nothing of particular interest to be noted in this asterism.
It does not appear on modern star charts and is considered obsolete.

So great is the distance that separates us from the stars that as for
the great majority had they been blotted out of existence before the
Christian era, we of to-day should still receive their light and seem
to see them just as we do. When we scan the nocturnal skies we study
ancient history. We do not see the stars as they are but as they were
centuries on centuries ago.

[Illustration: MUSCA]



  |                 |       |                |               | Other Dates  |        |
  | Name of Shower  | Date  | Radiant Point  |Characteristics|       of     |Location|
  |                 |       |                |               | Observation  |        |
  |                 |       | Between Great  |               |              |        |
  |     Ursids      |Oct. 4 |Bear's head and |    Sw. Sk.    |  Aug. 20-24  |   N.   |
  |                 |       |    Polaris     |               |              |        |
  |Epsilon Arietids |       | East of Hamal, |               | Oct. 11-24,  |        |
  |   Rich shower   |Oct. 14|   near Musca   |    M. Sw.     |   Oct. 30-   |   E.   |
  |      1877       |       |                |               |    Nov. 4    |        |
  |    Orionids     |Oct. 18| Near Alhena in | After 11 P.M. |  Oct. 16-22  |   E.   |
  |   Fine shower   |       |     Gemini     |    Sw. Sk.    |              |        |
  |                 |       |Near Castor and | After 10 P.M. |   Nov. 7,    |        |
  | Delta Geminids  |Oct. 29|     Pollux     |  v. Sw. Sk.   |   Dec. 4,    |  N.E.  |
  |                 |       |                |               |  Oct. 16-22  |        |
  |(e) Taurids. Rich|Nov. 2 | About 13° S.E. |   Sl. B.T.    |   Nov. 2-3   |   E.   |
  | shower in 1886  |       |  of Aldebaran  |               |              |        |
  |     Leonids     |       |Near (γ) Leonis |After midnight.|              |        |
  |Brilliant shower |Nov. 13| In the Sickle  |    v. Sw.     |  Nov. 12-14  |  N.E.  |
  |                 |       |                |      Sk.      |              |        |
  |                 |       | Near (μ) Ursæ  | After 10 P.M. |  Sept. 15,   |        |
  |  Leo Minorids   |Nov. 16|Maj., the Great |  v. Sw. Sk.   |   Oct. 16    |   N.   |
  |                 |       |Bear's hind feet|               |              |        |
  |  Andromedids.   |       |  Near (γ)      |               |  Nov. 17-23  |        |
  |  The Bielids.   |Nov. 27|  Andromedæ     |    Sl. T.     |  Nov. 21-28  |Overhead|
  |  Fine display   |       |                |               |              |        |
  |                 |Nov. 30|Between Capella |               |  Aug. 16     |        |
  |    Taurids      |       |and (α) Persei  |    V. Sw.     |  Sept. 15,   |Overhead|
  |                 |       |                |               |  Nov. 20     |        |
  |  Zeta Taurids.  |Dec. 6 | Near the horns |               |              |        |
  |  Active shower  |       |  of the Bull   |   Sl. B.      |              |    E.  |
  |     in 1876     |       |                |               |              |        |
  |    Geminids.    |Dec. 10| Near Castor    |     Sw.       |   Dec. 1-14  |    E.  |
  |   Fine shower   |       |                |               |              |        |
  | Kappa Draconids |Dec. 22| Near Thuban    |               |  Nov. 14-23  |        |
  |                 |       | (α) Draconis   |    Sw. Sk.    |  Dec. 18-29  |        |
  | Fire Ball Dates |       |                |               |   Nov. 29    |        |
  |                 |       |                |               |Dec. 2, 19, 21|        |

The Andromedes are usually red, sluggish in their movements, and leave
only a small train.

Brilliant displays were seen in 1872 and 1885.

The Leonids are characterized by their exceedingly swift flight. They
are of a greenish or bluish tint and leave behind them a vivid and
persistent train. In most years the display is not especially
noteworthy. Once in thirty-three years they afford an exhibition grand
beyond description as in 1833 and 1866.


[Illustration: Map showing the principal stars visible from Lat. 40°
N. at 9 o'clock, January first.]

TAURUS (tâ´-rus)--THE BULL. (Face Southwest.)

LOCATION.--Taurus contains the well-known and unmistakable group the
Pleiades, on the right shoulder of the Bull. A "V" shaped group known
as the Hyades is just to the southeast of the Pleiades, in the face of
the Bull, forming one of the most beautiful objects in the sky.

The brightest star in Taurus is Aldebaran, a ruddy-hued star known as
"The Follower." It is at the beginning of the "V" in the Hyades, and
is at the apex of a triangle formed by Capella, in Auriga, and α
Persei, and equally distant from them both.

The star β called Nath, is peculiarly white, and is common to Taurus
and Auriga. It represents the tip of one of the Bull's horns, and the
right foot of the Charioteer. The Pleiades are mentioned in Chinese
annals in 2357 B.C. On a photograph of the group over 2000 stars have
been counted.

The ecliptic passes a little south of a point midway between the two
horns, where a scattered and broken stream of minute stars can be

Note two pretty pairs in the Hyades, one south of Aldebaran, the other
northwest of it.

There are rich clusters below the tip of the horn over Orion's head.

Taurus was an important object of worship by the Druids.

Aldebaran is near one eye of the Bull, and used to be called "The
Bull's Eye." An occultation of it by the moon, which not infrequently
occurs, is a striking phenomenon.

The Eskimos regard the Pleiades as a team of dogs in pursuit of a
bear. The group is receding from us at the rate of thirteen miles a
second and has a common eastward motion of about ten seconds a

[Illustration: TAURUS]

ORION (ŏ-rī´-on)--THE GIANT HUNTER. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Orion is considered the finest constellation in the
heavens. A line drawn from Nath to ζ Tauri (the tips of the Bull's
horns), and extended 15°, strikes the brilliant Betelgeuze in Orion,
known as the martial star. It forms the northeast corner of a
conspicuous parallelogram. The splendid first-magnitude star Rigel is
diagonally opposite Betelgeuze, and the girdle and sword of the Hunter
lie within the parallelogram, a very striking group. The former is
represented by three bright stars in a line 3° long known as the
"Three Stars," because there are no other stars in the heavens that
exactly resemble them in position and brightness.

In the sword there is the most remarkable nebula in the heavens. It
may be seen with an opera-glass and in a telescope it is a wonderful
sight. Bellatrix is called the Amazon star. Note the contrasting
colours of α and β.

About 9° west of Bellatrix are eight stars in a curved line running
north and south. These point out the Lion's skin held in the Hunter's
left hand.

Below λ there are two stars forming a triangle with it. Flammarion
calls this region the California of the sky.

The celestial equator passes nearly through δ.

Orion was worshipped in China during the one thousand years before our
era, and was known to the Chinese as the "White Tiger."

The Eskimos see in the Belt stars the three steps cut by some
celestial Eskimo in a steep snow bank to enable him to reach the top.

[Illustration: ORION]

LEPUS (lē´-pus)--THE HARE. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Lepus crouches under Orion's feet. Four stars in the
constellation form an irregular and conspicuous quadrilateral.

γ is a beautiful double of a greenish hue.

Four or five degrees south of Rigel are four faint stars which are in
the ear of the hare. They can be seen on a clear night with the naked

The curved line of three stars θ, η, and ζ, are in the back of the

Lepus is about 18° west of Canis Major, and, by reason of the earth's
motion, the Great Dog seems to be pursuing the Hare around the

The first-magnitude stars that are visible in the winter season in
this latitude present a fine contrast in color. Even the untrained eye
can see a decided difference between the bluish white color of the
brilliant Sirius, the Dog star that the Belt stars point south to, and
Rigel, and the ruddy Betelgeuze. Procyon has a yellowish tinge and
resembles the condition of our sun, while Betelgeuze is surrounded by
heavy metallic vapors and is thought to be approaching extinction.

R marks the location of "Hind's crimson star," a famous variable.

[Illustration: LEPUS]

COLUMBA NOACHI (co-lum´-bä nō-ä´-ki)--NOAH'S DOVE. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Columba is situated just south of Lepus. A line drawn from
Rigel, in Orion, to β Leporis, and prolonged as far again, ends near α
and β, the two brightest stars in Columba.

A line drawn from the easternmost star in the belt of Orion, 32°
directly south, will point out Phaet, in Columba. It makes with
Sirius, in Canis Major, and Naos, in the Ship, a large equilateral

The star β Columbæ may be known by means of a smaller star just east
of it, marked γ.

The Chinese call α Chang Jin, the old Folks. Lockyer thinks it was of
importance in Egyptian temple worship, and observed from Edfu and
Philæ as far back as 6400 B.C.

On a clear starlight night there are not more than a thousand stars
visible to the naked eye at one time. The largest telescope reveals
nearly a hundred million.

[Illustration: COLUMBA]

CANIS MAJOR (kā´-nis mā-jor)--THE GREATER DOG. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--The three stars in Orion's girdle point southeast to
Sirius, the dog star, in Canis Major, the most brilliant star in the
heavens. It was connected in the minds of the Egyptians with the
rising of the Nile, and is receding from the earth at the rate of
twenty miles a second.

The star ν is a triple. The cluster (41 M.) can be seen with an
opera-glass, just below it.

Between δ and ο¹ note a remarkable array of minute stars, also the
very red star 22.

δ and ζ are doubles for an opera-glass.

Below η there is a fine group.

Betelgeuze, in Orion, Procyon, in Canis Minor, and Sirius form a
nearly equilateral triangle. These stars with Naos, in the Ship, and
Phaet, in the Dove, form a huge figure known as the Egyptian "X."

From earliest times Sirius has been known as the Dog of Orion. It is
324 times brighter than the average sixth-magnitude star, and is the
nearest to the earth of all the stars in this latitude, its distance
being 8.7 light years. At this distance the Sun would appear as a star
a little brighter than the Pole Star.

[Illustration: CANIS MAJOR]

ARGO NAVIS (är´-go nā´-vis)--THE SHIP ARGO. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Argo is situated southeast of Canis Major. If a line
joining Betelgeuze and Sirius be prolonged 18° southeast, it will
point out Naos, a star of the second magnitude in the rowlock of the
Ship. This star is in the southeast corner of the Egyptian "X."

The star π is of a deep yellow or orange hue. It has three little
stars above it, two of which form a pretty pair.

The star ζ has a companion, which is a test for an opera-glass.

The star κ is a double for an opera-glass.

Note the fine star cluster (46 M.).

The star Markeb forms a small triangle with two other stars near it.

The Egyptians believed that this was the ark that bore Osiris and Isis
over the Deluge.

The constellation contains two noted objects invisible in this
latitude, Canopus, the second brightest star, and the remarkable
variable star η.

[Illustration: PUPPIS]

MONOCEROS (mō-nos´-e-ros)--THE UNICORN. (Face South.)

LOCATION.--Monoceros is to be found east of Orion between Canis Major
and Canis Minor. Three of its stars of the fourth magnitude form a
straight line northeast and southwest, about 9° east of Betelgeuze,
and about the same distance south of Alhena, in Gemini.

The region around the stars 8, 13, 17 is particularly rich when viewed
with an opera-glass.

Note also a beautiful field about the variable S, and a cluster about
midway between α and β.

Two stars about 7° apart in the tail of the Unicorn are pointer stars
to Procyon. These stars are known as 30 and 31. The former is about
16° east of Procyon, and is easily identified as it has a
sixth-magnitude star on either side of it. About 4° southwest of this
star a good field-glass will reveal a beautiful star cluster.

[Illustration: MONOCEROS]

ERIDANUS (ē-rid´-a-nus)--OR THE RIVER PO. (Face Southwest.)

LOCATION.--Three degrees north and 2° west of Rigel, in Orion, lies β
Eridani, the source of the River. Thence it flows west till it reaches
π Ceti, then drops south 5°, thence east southeast, its total length
being about 130°.

The great curve the River takes, just east of the Whale, resembles a

Acherna, the first-magnitude star in Eridanus, is too far south to be
seen in this latitude.

Note the pretty star group around β and a pair of stars of an orange
hue below ν.

The asterism known as "The Brandenburg Sceptre," consisting of four
stars of the fourth and fifth magnitudes, can be seen arranged in a
straight line north and south below the first bend in the River just
west of Lepus.

[Illustration: ERIDANUS]



  |               |        |                  |               | Other Dates |          |
  |Name of Shower | Date   |   Radiant Point  |Characteristics|     of      |Location  |
  |               |        |                  |               | Observation |          |
  | Quadrantids.  | Jan. 2 |   (44) Boötis,   |               |             |          |
  |  Rich annual  |        |between Boötes and|   M. Sw. B.   |    Jan 3.   |   E.     |
  |    shower     |        |  Dragon's head   |               |             |          |
  | Zeta Cancrids |Jan. 2-4|   (ζ) Cancri,    |               |             |   E.     |
  |               |        |  near Bee Hive   |               |             |          |
  | Theta Ursids  | Jan. 5 | About 10° from β |     Small     |             |          |
  |               |        |  away from γ     |  Sh. Sw. F.   |  Jan. 2-8   |   N.     |
  |               |        |    Ursæ Maj.     |               |             |          |
  |Alpha Draconids| Feb. 1 |   Near Thuban    |      Sl.      |   Jan. 9    |   N.     |
  |               |        |   α Draconis     |               |   Dec. 8    |          |
  |               |        |   Near Capella   |               |   Aug. 21   |High in   |
  |Alpha Aurigids | Feb. 7 |     α Aurigæ     |      Sl.      | Sept. 12-22 |Southern  |
  |               |        |                  |               |             |  Sky     |
  | Tau Leonids   |Feb. 16 |   τ Leonis,      |               |   Nov. 27   |          |
  |               |        |  between Leo     |    Sl. Sk.    |   Dec. 12   |   E.     |
  |               |        |  and Crater      |               |   Mar. 1-4  |          |
  |  Alpha Canum  |Feb. 20 | Near Cor Caroli  |               |             |          |
  |   Ven. Well   |        |   and Coma       |   V. Sw. B.   |             |   E.     |
  | defined 1877  |        |   Berenices      |               |             |          |
  |     α-β       |Mar. 1  |   Between α      |     V. Sl.    |  July--Dec. |   N.W.   |
  |   Perseids    |        |  and β Persei    |               |  Mar. 13-19 |          |
  |Beta Leonids or|Mar. 14 |  Near Denebola   |     Sl. B.    |  Mar. 3, 4  |   S.E.   |
  |Beta Virginids |        |    β Leonis      |               |  Dec. 12    |          |
  |Kappa Cepheids |Mar. 18 |   Near Polaris   |     Sl. B.    |  Oct. 4-17  |   N.     |
  |               |        |                  |               |  Mar. 13-19 |          |
  |               |        |                  |               | Apr. 10-16  |          |
  |  Beta Ursids  |Mar. 24 |     Near β       |       Sw.     |  Mar. 13-14 |   N.     |
  |               |        |    Ursæ Maj.     |               |  Dec. 2-9   |          |
  |               |        |                  |               |   Precise   |          |
  |Zeta Draconids |Mar. 28 |    Near the      |       Sl.     |  July 29    |   N.     |
  |               |        |  Dragon's Head   |               |Aug. 24, etc.|          |

The Abbreviations under _Characteristics_ are as follows:

 V.   Very
 Sh.  Short
 M.   Moderately
 B.   Bright
 Sw.  Swift
 F.   Faint
 Sl.  Slow
 Sk.  Streak leaving meteors
 T.   Train leaving meteors

If you know the constellations, and memorize the following rhyme you
will have ever at hand for reference at night, a reliable time-piece,
a compass, and a perpetual calendar.

The numbers above the star names indicate consecutively the months of
the year in which these respective objects rise about the first
instant in the eastern sky. In addition to first-magnitude stars the
rhyme refers to the head of Capricornus, the Sea Goat, the Great
Square of Pegasus, and Orion's Belt. All except Arcturus rise between
9 and 9.30 P.M. Arcturus rises at 10 P.M., February 1st.

  First Regulus gleams on the view,
      2       3      4
  Arcturus, Spica, Vega, blue,
     5            6
  Antares, and Altair,
        7             8            9
  The Goat's head, Square, and Fomalhaut,
      10          11
  Aldebaran, the Belt, a-glow,
  Then Sirius most fair.

Eight months of the year are identified by the position of the Dipper
at 9 P.M. In April and May it is north of the zenith. During July and
August it is west of north. In October and November it lies close to
the northern horizon and in January and February it is east of north
with the pointers highest.


It is not within the scope of this work to dwell at length on a
discussion of the planets. Certain explanatory matter regarding them
is necessary, however, to prevent confusion; for the student must bear
in mind the fact that from time to time the planets appear in the
constellations, and unless identified would lead him to think that the
diagrams were inaccurate.

The reader is referred to any one of the four large plates that
precede each season. He will observe that a portion of an ellipse has
been traced on each of them, and that this line has been designated
the Ecliptic, which simply means the sun's apparent pathway across the

This pathway is divided into twelve equal parts of thirty degrees
each, and to these twelve divisions are given the names of the
constellations of the Zodiac in the following order: Aries (♈), Taurus
(♉), Gemini (♊), Cancer (♋), Leo (♌), Virgo (♍), Libra (♎), Scorpio
(♏), Sagittarius (♐), Capricornus (♑), Aquarius (♒), Pisces (♓).

The sun, starting from the first degree of Aries, the first day of
spring, passes through one constellation a month. The planets follow
the same pathway.

Confusion, therefore, respecting their identity can only arise in
connection with a study of one of the twelve constellations named
above, so that whenever a star of any size is seen in one of these
constellations, not accounted for in the diagram, the student may
conclude that this is a planet; especially if the unknown star does
not twinkle. It now remains to identify the planet.

This can best be done by referring to an almanac, which states what
planets are above the horizon, and which are morning and evening
stars. By morning star is meant that the planet is east of the sun; by
evening star, that it is west of the sun.

If the planet is in the west, and very brilliant, it is safe to assume
that it is the planet Venus.

If it is brighter than any of the fixed stars, and is some distance
from the sun, it is doubtless the colossal Jupiter.

If it is very red, it will probably be Mars.

Saturn is distinguished because of its pale, steady, yellow light.

As for Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune, the former is very near the sun,
and seldom seen; while Uranus and Neptune are so inconspicuous as to
lead to no confusion on the part of the novice.

A few notes of interest relative to the planets follow, taking them up
in regular order passing outward from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.


Mercury is the nearest to the sun of any of the planets. On this
account, and because of its rapid changes, it is seldom seen.

The most favorable time for observing it is just after sunset, or just
before sunrise, during the months of March, April, August, and
September, when it may be seen for a few successive days.

The greatest distance it ever departs from the sun on either side
varies approximately from sixteen to twenty-eight degrees. Its motion
resembles a pendulum, swinging from one side of the sun to the other.


Venus approaches nearer to the earth and is more brilliant than any
other planet. It is bright enough to cast a shadow at night, and is
sometimes visible even at noonday. It is almost as large as the earth,
and appears to oscillate, as Mercury does, on either side of the sun.

It never appears more than three hours after sunset, and as long
before the sunrise, and is never more than forty-eight degrees from
the sun.


Mars is most like the earth of any of the planets, and, although not
as interesting an object to view as the more brilliant planets, Venus
and Jupiter, it claims our attention chiefly because of the surmises
respecting its habitability.

Mars appears to the naked eye as a bright red star, and when at a
favorable opposition to the earth (which occurs only once in every
fifteen years) it rivals Jupiter in splendor.

The planet may be mistaken for the first magnitude stars, Antares in
Scorpius, and Aldebaran in Taurus, near which it frequently passes.

The fixed stars, however, twinkle, while Mars glows steadily. If there
is any doubt in the student's mind as to the identity of the planet, a
few nights of observation, noting the changes in the planet's
position, will decide the point. It takes Mars about fifty-seven days
to pass through one constellation in the Zodiac.


Jupiter is the largest of all the planets in the solar system, and it
is easily distinguished from the fixed stars because of its brilliancy
and splendor, exceeding in brightness all the planets excepting Venus,
and casting a perceptible shadow.

It moves slowly and majestically across the sky, advancing through the
Zodiac at the rate of one constellation yearly. It is therefore a
simple matter to forecast its position, for, in whatever constellation
it is seen to-day, one year hence it will be seen equally advanced in
the next constellation.

Although Jupiter appears to move slowly, it really travels at the
incomprehensible rate of five hundred miles a minute.

The most interesting feature about Jupiter for the amateur astronomer
consists in observing four of its moons, which are visible with a
small telescope. They appear like mere dots of light, and their
transit of or occultation with the planet (that is, their
disappearance before or behind its disk) can be watched, and is a
never failing source of pleasure. A large telescope alone reveals
Jupiter's four other moons.


Saturn is farther removed from the earth than any of the planets in
the solar system, visible to the naked eye. It is distinguished from
the fixed stars by the steadiness of its light, which is dull and of a
yellow hue, though to some it appears to be of a greenish tinge. It
seems barely to move, so slow is its motion among the stars, for it
takes two and one half years to pass through a single constellation of
the Zodiac.

Saturn has eight moons. Titan, its largest one, can be seen with a 3"
glass. Its celebrated rings are telescopic objects but a small glass
reveals them.


The student will hardly mistake Uranus for a fixed star, as it is only
under the most favorable circumstances that it can be seen with the
naked eye.

At its nearest approach to the earth, it is as bright as a
sixth-magnitude star. Uranus is accompanied by four moons, and takes
seven years to pass through a constellation of the Zodiac.


Neptune is the most distant of the planets in the solar system, and is
never visible to the naked eye.

The earth comes properly under a discussion of the planets, but a
description of it is hardly within the scope of this work.

Confusion in identifying the planets is really confined to Mars and
Saturn, for Venus and Jupiter are much brighter than any of the fixed
stars, and their position in the heavens identifies them, as we have
seen before.

The following table of first-magnitude stars in the Zodiacal
constellations confines the question of identifying the planets to a
comparison of the unknown star with the following-named stars:

  Castor and Pollux in Gemini.
  Spica             "  Virgo.
  Regulus           "  Leo.
  Aldebaran         "  Taurus.
  Antares           "  Scorpius.

The first four stars named above are white in color, so that either
Mars or Saturn is readily distinguished from them.

As for Aldebaran and Antares, which are both red stars, not unlike
Mars and Saturn in color and magnitude, the fact that the latter do
not twinkle, and that they do not appear in the diagrams, should
satisfy the observer of their identity. Reference to an almanac, or a
few nights of observation, will in any case set at rest any doubt in
the matter.




The Milky Way, or Galaxy as it is sometimes called, is a great band of
light that stretches across the heavens. Certain portions of it are
worthy of being viewed with an opera-glass, which separates this
seemingly confused and hazy stream into numberless points of light,
emanating from myriads of suns.

This wonderful feature of the heavens is seen to best advantage during
the months of July, August, September, and October. Beginning near the
head of Cepheus, about thirty degrees from the North Pole, it passes
through Cassiopeia, Perseus, Auriga, part of Orion, and the feet of
Gemini, where it crosses the Ecliptic, and thence continues into the
southern hemisphere, beyond our ken in these latitudes.

It reappears in two branches in the region of Ophiuchus, one running
through the tail of Scorpius, the bow of Sagittarius, Aquila,
Delphinus, and Cygnus; the other above and almost parallel to it,
uniting with the first branch in Cygnus, and passing to Cepheus, the
place of beginning.

The student should note especially the strange gap between α, γ, and
ε Cygni. This dark space has been called the "Coal Sack."

The Milky Way in the vicinity of Cassiopeia is particularly rich, and
well repays a search with an opera-glass.

"The Galaxy covers more than one tenth of the visible heavens,
contains nine-tenths of the visible stars, and seems a vast
zone-shaped nebula, nearly a great circle of the sphere, the poles
being at Coma and Cetus."


It may be that the student desires to proceed in this conquest of the
sky at a more rapid pace than the scheme of study permits. To assist
such, it should be borne in mind that the circumpolar constellations,
as Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia, are
designated,--are visible in our latitude in the northern sky every

A reference to their diagrams, and a glance at any of the large plates
showing the entire group in their respective positions, will suffice
for the student to identify them.

The hours of darkness alone limit the speed with which a knowledge of
the constellations can be acquired.

Let us suppose that the student begins his search for the
constellations on the night of April 1st, at nine P.M. He has for his
guide the large plate, and the spring group of eleven constellations
set forth in the diagrams. The remaining three constellations of the
circumpolar group are, as we have seen before, visible in the north.

If he faces the western sky, he will see Andromeda just setting, and
Perseus, Taurus, Orion, Lepus, and Canis Major but a short distance
above the horizon. If he is so fortunate as to be able to identify
these, and the spring group, he may turn his attention wholly to the
eastern sky, where new constellations await him.

In the southeast he may see Virgo. In the east well up blazes
Arcturus, the gem of Boötes, below which is the beautiful Northern
Crown, with the diamond in the head of Serpens beneath it. Hercules is
rising, and Vega in the Lyre should be seen just flashing on the view
in the northeast.

This completes the list of wonders visible at this precise time, but
the stars apparently are never still, and doubtless, while the student
has been passing from one constellation to another in the western and
southern skies, others have been rising in the east and northeast.

At ten P.M. the Lyre is well up, and Ophiuchus and Libra can be
discerned. At midnight Scorpius and Cygnus are ready to claim the
attention. By two o'clock A.M., Aquila, Delphinus, and Sagittarius
have risen, and at break of day Andromeda, Pegasus, and Capricornus
can be seen if the student has had the courage to remain awake this
length of time.

In no way can the seeming movement of the stars be better understood
than by actual observation. The observer must bear in mind that the
movement is an apparent one: that it is the earth that is moving and
not the stars. He has only to think of the analogy of the moving train
beside the one that is standing still, and the true state of affairs
will at once be evident.

To further appreciate this apparent change in the situation of the
constellations, the student should refer to the large plates
successively. In each successive one he will note the advancement
westward of the constellations mentioned above, rising in the east
late at night.

The student can best get an idea of this westward apparent movement of
the stars by noting the position of some bright first-magnitude star
from night to night. He will soon be able to calculate the position of
this star a month or more ahead, and this calculation applies to all
the constellations and stars.

It is not within the scope of this work to go into this matter in
detail. The author merely desires to mention this fact of apparent
change of position in the stars, a fact that will be noticeable to the
observer in a short time, and a fact that it is hoped he will be able
to explain to his own satisfaction with the aid of the foregoing

It will be noticed that the stars on the diagrams are all numbered and
lettered. The numbers refer to the magnitude of the star,--that is,
the brightness of it, the first-magnitude stars being the brightest,
the second-magnitude stars two-and-a-half times less bright, etc.

The letters are those of the Greek alphabet, and the student if not
familiar with it is advised to consult a Greek grammar.

In the text, in referring to certain stars in the constellations, the
genitive case of the Latin name of the constellation is given; for
example, Vega is known as α Lyrae, meaning alpha of Lyra, Aldebaran as
α Tauri, alpha of Taurus, etc.

The twilight hour affords an excellent opportunity of fixing the
relative positions of the first-magnitude stars in the mind, for at
that time they alone, save the planets, are visible.


As this work is designed primarily to cover what is observable in the
starlit heavens with the naked eye, the subject of meteors, or
shooting-stars, comes properly within its scope.

There are few persons, if any, who have not witnessed the sight of a
splendid meteor speeding across the sky, and such a sight always calls
forth exclamations of wonder and delight.

Apparently these evanescent wanderers in space are without distinctive
features, and baffle classification; but, like all that nature reveals
to us, they have been found, for the most part, to conform to certain
laws, and to bear certain marks of resemblance that permit of their
identification and classification.

By careful observation for over fifty years the meteors, generally
speaking, have been so arranged that they come under the head of one
of the nearly three hundred distinct showers which are now recognized
by astronomers.

Many of these showers are too feeble and faint to be worthy of the
attention of one not especially interested in the subject, but certain
ones are well worth observing. There is always a pleasure in being
able to recognize at a glance a certain definite manifestation of
nature, be it a rare flower or a flashing meteor.

The generally accepted theory respecting the meteors is that they were
all originally parts of comets now disintegrated, and the four
well-known showers of April 20th, August 10th and 14th, and November
27th, bear testimony to this theory.

The apparent velocity of the meteors is between ten and forty-five
miles a second, and their average height is about seventy-six miles at
first appearance, and fifty-one miles at disappearance. Occasionally a
meteor is so large and compact as to escape total destruction, and
falls to the earth. Specimens of these meteorites are to be found in
our best museums.

I have seen fit to divide the principal meteor showers into four
groups, according to the seasons in which they appear, and have placed
them respectively at the conclusion of each season's work on the

By radiant point is meant the point from which the meteors start on
their flight. This point is an apparent one, however, due to an
illusion of perspective, for the meteors really approach the earth in
parallel paths.

The dates given for these showers are those of the maxima, and the
meteors should be looked for several nights before and after the dates

The showers that are to be seen after midnight are, unless of special
note, omitted.

There are, besides the meteors that have been classified, certain
shooting-stars that apparently have no determined radiant point. These
are called sporadic meteors.

In these lists of meteors, the radiant point is only approximately
given; for scientific purposes a far more exact position is required
in terms of right ascension and declination. There are several good
lists of meteoric showers to be obtained, which afford this
information for those who care to pursue the matter more in detail.
See the Rev. T.W. Webb's book, entitled _Celestial Objects for Common
Telescopes_. For purposes of identification, the radiant points here
given will be found for the most part sufficient.


    Many readers of this book may be the fortunate possessors of
    small telescopes. It may be that they have observed the
    heavens from time to time in a desultory way and have no
    notion that valuable and practical scientific research work
    can be accomplished with a small glass. If those who are
    willing to aid in the great work of astrophysical research
    will communicate with the author he will be pleased to
    outline for them a most practical and fascinating line of
    observational work that will enable them to share in the
    advance of our knowledge respecting the stars. It is work
    that involves no mathematics, and its details are easily


  ACUBENS, α _Cancri_, "the claws."

    Situated in one of the Crab's claws. It is white in color
    and culminates[1] March 18th.

  A-DAR´-A, ε _Canis Majoris_, "the virgins," a name for four
    stars, of which Adara is brightest.

    Situated in the Dog's right thigh. It is pale orange in
    color, and culminates Feb. 11th.

  ADHIL, ε _Andromedæ_, "the train of a garment."

    Situated in the left shoulder of the chained lady.

  ALADFAR (al-ad-fär), μ _Lyræ_, "the talons" (of the falling

  AL BALI, ε _Aquarii_, "the good fortune of the swallower."

  AL-BI´-REO, or AL-BIR´Ë-O β _Cygni_, origin doubtful. Means
    the beak of the hen.

    Situated in the beak of the Swan and the base of the Cross.
    Its color is topaz yellow, and it culminates Aug. 28th.

  ALCAID, η _Ursæ Majoris_. _See_ Benetnasch.

  ALCHIBA (al-kē-bä´), α _Corvi_, "the tent," the desert title
    for the constellation.

    Situated in the eye of the Crow. Orange in color.

  ALCOR (al´-kôr), g _Ursæ Majoris_, "the cavalier" or "the

    Situated close to Mizar in the handle of the "Dipper."
    Silver white in color. The Arabs called this star "Saidak,"
    meaning "the proof," because they used it to test a good

  AL-CY´-O-NE, η _Tauri_.

    Greenish yellow in color. The brightest of the Pleiades.
    Situated in the neck of the Bull.

  AL-DEB´-A-RAN, α _Tauri_, "the hindmost" or the "follower,"
    _i.e._ of the Pleiades.

    Situated in the eye of the Bull. Pale rose in color. It is
    receding from the earth at the rate of thirty miles per
    second, and culminates Jan. 10.

    α Tauri is sometimes called Palilicium.

  ALDERAMIN (Al-der-am´-in), α _Cephei_ "the right arm." It
    now marks the shoulder of Cepheus.

    White in color. It culminates Sept. 27th.

  ALDHAFERA, ζ _Leonis_.

    Situated in the "Sickle," and the neck of the Lion. It
    culminates April 8th.

  ALFIRK (al-ferk´), or ALPHIRK, "stars of the flock," β

    The Arab name for the constellation. Situated in the girdle
    of Cepheus. White in color. It culminates Oct. 2d.

  ALGEIBA (al-jē´-bä), γ _Leonis_, "the mane."

    Situated in the "Sickle," and the shoulder of the Lion. It
    is approaching the earth at the rate of twenty-four miles
    per second, and culminates April 9th.

  AL´-GE-NIB, γ _Pegasi_, "the wing," possibly the "flank" or

    Situated in the wing of the Horse. White in color, and
    culminates Nov. 14th.

  AL´-GE-NIB, α _Persei_, "the side," or Mirfak, "the elbow."

    Situated in the right side of Perseus. Lilac in color and
    approaching the earth at the rate of six miles per second.
    It culminates Jan. 1st. This star is also called Alchemb.

  ALGENUBI (al-je-nö´-bi), ε _Leonis_, "the head of the Lion."

    A yellow star situated in the Lion's mouth.

  AL´-GOL, β _Persei_, "the ghoul" or "demon."

    Situated in the head of the Medusa held in the Hero's left
    hand. White in color. It is approaching the earth at the
    rate of one mile per second, and culminates Dec. 23d.

  ALGORAB (al-go-räb´), or ALGORES, (δ) _Corvi_, "the raven."

    Situated on the right wing of the Crow. Pale yellow in
    color. It culminates May 14th.

  ALHENA (al-hen´-a), γ _Geminorum_, "a brand on the right
    side of the camel's neck," or a "ring" or "circlet."

    Situated in the left foot of Pollux. White in color, and
    culminates Feb. 8th. Alhena is sometimes called Almeisam.

  AL-I-OTH, ε _Ursæ Majoris_, disputed derivation.

    Situated in the tail of the Great Bear. It is approaching
    the earth at the rate of nineteen miles per second. It
    culminates May 20th. Alioth, the name sometimes given to α
    and θ Serpentis.

  AL-KAID (al-kād), _See_ ALCAID.

  ALKALUROPS (al-ka-lū´-rops), μ _Boötis_, "a herdsman's club,
    crook, or staff."

    Situated near the right shoulder of the Herdsman. Its color
    is flushed white.

  ALKES (al´-kes), α _Crateris_, from Al Kas, "the cup," the
    Arab name for the constellation.

    Situated in the base of the Cup. Orange in color, and
    culminates April 20th.

  ALMAC, γ _Andromedæ_, "a badger," possibly "the boot."

    Situated in the left foot of Andromeda. Orange in color, and
    culminates Dec. 8th.

  AL NAAIM, τ and ν Pegasi, "the cross bars over a well."

  AL NASL (al-nas´l), or ELNASL (el-nas´-l), γ _Sagittarii_,
    "the point head of the arrow."

    Situated in the arrow's tip. It is yellow in color, and
    culminates Aug. 4th. This star sometimes called Nushaba and

  AL NATH, or NATH γ _Aurigæ_, and β _Tauri_, "the heel of the
    rein-holder," the "butter" _i.e._ the "horn."

    Situated in the right foot of the Charioteer, and the
    tip of the northern horn of the Bull. Brilliant white in
    color, and culminates Dec. 11th.

  ALNILAM (al-ni-lam´), ε _Orionis_, "a belt of spheres or

    Situated in Orion's belt. It is bright white in color, and
    is receding from the earth at the rate of sixteen miles per
    second. It culminates Jan. 25th.

  ALNITAK (al-ni-tak´), ζ _Orionis_, "the girdle."

    Situated in Orion's belt. Topaz yellow in color. It is
    receding from the earth at the rate of nine miles per
    second, and culminates Jan. 26th.

  AL-NIYAT, σ _Scorpii_, "the outworks of the heart."

    Situated near the Scorpion's heart. It is creamy white in

  AL´-PHARD, or (al-färd´), α _Hydræ_, "the solitary one in the

    Situated in the heart of Hydra. Orange in color, and
    culminates Mar. 26th. The Chinese called this star "the Red

  AL-PHEC´-CA, α _Coronæ Borealis_, "the bright one of the
    dish." _See_ Gemma. Century Dictionary gives meaning "the
    cup or platter of a dervish."

  AL´-PHE-RATZ or (al-fe-rats´), α _Andromedæ_, "the head of
    the woman in chains." "The navel of the horse."

    Situated in the head of Andromeda. White and purplish in
    color. It culminates Nov. 10th. Alpheratz is some times
    called Sirrah.

  AL-PHIRK, β _Cephei_, from al-Firk, the flock.

  AL RAKIS, μ _Draconis_, "the dancer."

    Situated in the Dragon's nose. Brilliant white in color. The
    Century Dictionary gives for this star Arrakis, "The
    trotting camel."

  AL RESCHA, α _Piscium_, "the cord or knot."

    Situated in the knot joining the ribbons that hold the
    Fishes together. Pale green in color, and culminates Dec.

  ALSAFI σ _Draconis_.

  ALSCHAIN (al-shān´), β _Aquilæ_, part of the Arab name for
    the constellation.

    Situated in the head of Antinoüs. Pale orange in color, and
    culminates Sept. 3d.

  AL SHAT, ν _Capricorni_, "the sheep."

  AL´-TAIR, or ATAIR, α _Aquilæ_, "the flying eagle," part of
    the Arab name for the constellation.

    Situated in the neck of the Eagle. Yellow in color, and
    culminates Sept. 1st.

  ALTERF (al-terf´), λ _Leonis_, "the glance," _i.e._ the
    Lion's eye.

    Situated in the Lion's mouth, the point of the Sickle. Red
    in color.

  ALUDRA (al-ö´-dra), η _Canis Majoris_, "the virgins." The
    four stars near each other in Canis Major.

    Situated in the Great Dog's tail. Pale red in color, and
    culminates Feb. 21st.

  ALULA BOREALIS, ν _Ursæ Majoris_.

  ALULA AUSTRALIS, ζ _Ursæ Majoris_ The "northern and southern

    Situated in the Southern hind foot of the Great Bear. The
    latter star is sometimes called El Acola.

  AL´-YA, θ _Serpentis_.

    Situated in the tip of the Serpent's tail. Pale yellow in
    color. It culminates Aug. 18th.

  ANCHA, θ _Aquarii_, "the hip."

    Situated in the right hip of Aquarius.

  ANT-ĀR-ES, or AN-TA´-REZ, α _Scorpii_, "the rival of Mars."

    Situated in the heart of the Scorpion. Fiery red and emerald
    green in color. It culminates July 11th.

  ARC-TŪ-RUS, α _Boötis_, "the leg of the lance-bearer," or
    "the bear-keeper."

    Situated in the left knee of the Herdsman. Golden yellow in
    color. It culminates June 8th.


  ARNEB (är´-neb), α _Leporis_, "the hare," the Arab name for
    the constellation.

    Situated in the heart of the Hare. Pale yellow in color. It
    culminates Jan. 24th. α _Leporis_ is sometimes called Arsh.

  ARKAB (är´-kab), β _Sagittarii_, "the tendon uniting the
    calf of the leg to the heel."

    Situated in the Archer's left fore leg.

  ASHFAR, μ and ε _Leonis_, "the eyebrows."

    Situated close to the Lion's right eye. μ orange in color,
    sometimes called Alshemali or Asmidiske.

  ASPIDISKI (as-pi-dis´ke), or ASMIDISKE, ι _Argus_, "in the

    Situated in the shield which ornaments the vessel's stern.
    Pale yellow in color. The Century Dictionary gives "a little
    shield" as the meaning for this star name.

  ASCELLA, ζ _Sagittarii_, "the armpit."

    Situated near the Archer's left armpit. It culminates Aug.

  ASCELLUS, θ _Boötis_.

    It marks the finger tips of the Herdsman's upraised hand.

  ASCELLUS BOREALIS, ν _Cancri_, "northern ass."

    Straw color.

  ASCELLUS AUSTRALIS, δ _Cancri_, "the southern ass."

    Situated on the back of the Crab. Straw color.

  ATIK, ο _Persei_.

    Situated in the wing on the right foot of Perseus.

  AZELFAFAGE, π _Cygni_, "the horse's foot or track."

  AZHA, η _Eridani_, "the ostrich's nest."

    Pale yellow in color.

  BAHAM, θ _Pegasi_, "the young of domestic animals."

    Situated near the left eye of Pegasus.

  BAT´EN KAITOS, ζ _Ceti_, "the whale's belly."

    A topaz-yellow-colored star, which culminates Dec. 5th.

  BEID (bā´-id), ο _Eridani_, "the egg."

    A very white star.

  BEL´-LA-TRIX, γ _Orionis_, "the female warrior." The Amazon

    Situated in the left shoulder of Orion. Pale yellow in
    color. It is receding from the earth at the rate of six
    miles per second, and culminates Jan. 22d. The Century
    Dictionary gives the color as very white.

  BE-NET´-NASCH, η _Ursæ Majoris_, "the chief or governor of
    the mourners" (alluding to the fancied bier).

    Situated in the tip of the Great Bear's tail. Brilliant
    white in color. It is approaching the earth at the rate of
    sixteen miles per second, and culminates June 2d. This star
    is also called Alkaid, from al-kaid, "the Governor."

  BETELGEUZE (BET-EL-GERZ´), α _Orionis_, "the giant's
    shoulder," or "the armpit of the central one."

    Situated in the right shoulder of Orion. Orange in color. It
    is receding from the earth at the rate of ten miles per
    second, and culminates Jan. 29th.

    Sometimes called Mirzam, the roarer.

  BOTEIN (bō-tē-in´), δ _Arietis_, "the little belly."

  CA-PEL´-LA, α _Aurigæ_, "the she-goat."

    Situated in the left shoulder of the Charioteer. It is a
    white star, and is receding from the earth at the rate of
    fifteen miles per second. It culminates Jan. 19th. The color
    of Capella is nearly that of the sun.

  CAPH (kaf), β _Cassiopeiæ_, "the camel's hump," or "the

    It is white in color, and culminates Nov. 11th.

  CAS´-TOR, α _Geminorum_, "the horseman of the twins."

    Its color is bright white, and it culminates Feb. 23d.
    Situated in the head of Castor. The Century Dictionary gives
    the color as greenish.

  CHELEB, β _Ophiuchi_, also CEB´ELRÁI from kelb, the
    shepherd's dog.

    Situated in the head of the Serpent. It is a yellow star,
    and culminates Aug. 30th.

  CHORT (chôrt), θ _Leonis_.

    Situated in the hind quarters of the Lion. It culminates
    April 24th. The Century Dictionary has θ _Centauri_ for this

  COR CAROLI (kôr kar´-ō-lī), α _Can. Ven._, "the heart of
    Charles II."

    It is flushed white in color, and culminates May 20th. A
    yellowish star according to the Century Dictionary.

  CUJAM, ω _Herculis_. Word used by Horace for the club of

  CURSA (KER´ SA), β _Eridani_, "the footstool of the central
    one," or "the chair or throne."

    Situated about at the source of the river near Orion. Topaz
    yellow in color, and culminates January 13th. This star is
    also known as Dhalim (Tha´lim) ("the ostrich").

  DABIH (dä´-be), β _Capricorni_, "the lucky one of the
    slaughterers," or "the slayer's lucky star."

    Situated in the head of the Sea-Goat. It is an
    orange-colored star, and culminates Sept. 10th.

  DĒ´-NEB, or ARIDED (ar´-i-ded), α _Cygni_, "the hen's tail,"
    "the hindmost."

    Situated in the tail of the Swan, and at the top of the
    Cross. Brilliant white in color. It is approaching the earth
    at the rate of thirty-six miles per second. It culminates
    Sept. 16th.

  DENEB AL OKAB (den´-eb al-ō-kâb), ε and ζ _Aquilæ_, "the
    eagle's tail."

  DENEB ALGEDI (den´-eb al´-jē-dē), δ _Capricorni_, "the tail
    of the goat."

    Situated in the tail of the Sea-Goat.

  DENEB AL SHEMALI (den´-eb-al-she-mä-le), ι _Ceti_

    A bright yellow star situated at the tip of the northern
    fluke of the monster's tail.

  DENEB KAITOS (den´-eb kī´-tos), β _Ceti_, "the tail of the

    Situated in the tail of the Whale. It is a yellow star, and
    culminates Nov. 21st. This star sometimes called Diphda.

  DE-NEB´-O-LA, β _Leonis_, "the lion's tail."

    It is a blue star which is approaching the earth at the rate
    of twelve miles per second. It culminates May 3d. This star
    also called Dafirah, and Serpha.

  DSCHUBBA, δ _Scorpii_, "the front of the forehead."

    Situated in the head of the Scorpion. It culminates July

  DSIBAN, ψ _Draconis_.

    Pearly white in color.

  DUB´-HE (döb´-he), α _Ursæ Majoris_, "a bear."

    The northern pointer star. It is a yellow star, and is
    approaching the earth at the rate of twelve miles per
    second. It culminates April 21st. The Arabs called the four
    stars in the Dipper the "bier."

  EL NATH β _Tauri_, the one who butts. This star is receding
    at the rate of five miles a second.

  ELTANIN, or ETANIN (et´-ā-nin), γ _Draconis_, "the dragon,"
    "the dragon's head."

    It is orange in color and culminates Aug. 4th. Rasaben is
    another name for this star.

  E´-NIF, or en´-if, ε _Pegasi_, "the nose."

    Situated in the nose of Pegasus. It is a yellow star, which
    is receding from the earth at the rate of five miles per
    second, and culminates Oct. 4th. This star was also called
    fum-al-far-as, "the mouth of the horse."

  ER RAI (er-rā´-ē), γ _Cephei_, "the shepherd."

    Situated in the left knee of Cepheus. It is yellow in color
    and culminates Nov. 10th.

  FOMALHAUT (Fō´-mal-ō), (disputed pronunciation), α _Piscis
    Austri_, "the fish's mouth."

    Situated in the head of the Southern Fish. It is reddish in
    color, and culminates Oct. 25th. This star was also known as
    the first frog, the second frog being β Ceti.

  FURUD, or PHURUD (fu-rōd), ζ _Canis Majoris_, "the bright
    single one."

    Situated in the left hind paw of the Greater Dog. It is
    light orange in color.

  GEM´-MA, α _Coronæ Borealis_, "a bud."

    The brightest star in the Northern Crown. It is brilliant
    white in color, and is receding from the earth at the rate
    of twenty miles per second. It culminates June 28th. This
    star is also known as Alphecca and Alfeta.

  GIANSAR λ _Draconis_, "the twins," "the poison place."

    Situated in the tip of the Dragon's tail. An orange-colored
    star. It culminates April 28th.

  GIEDI, α _Capricorni_, also called Algied´-i, the goat.

    Situated in the head of the Sea-Goat. It is a yellow star,
    and culminates Sept. 9th.

  GIENAH, γ _Corvi_, "the right wing of the raven."

    Situated in the Crow's wing. It culminates May 10th.

  GIENAH, ε _Cygni_, "the wing."

    Situated in the Swan's wing. It is a yellow star, and
    culminates Sept. 17th.

  GOMEISA (gō-mī´-zä), GOMELZA, β _Canis Minoris_,
    "Watery-eyed, weeping." A white star.

    Situated in the neck of the Lesser Dog.

  GRAFFIAS, β _Scorpii_, derivation unknown; the name may mean
    "the crab." This star was also called Ak´rab, the Scorpion.

    Situated in the head of the Scorpion. It is a pale white
    star, and culminates July 5th.

  GRUMIUM (grö´-mi-um), ξ _Draconis_, "the dragon's under

    A yellow star.

  HAM´-AL or (ha-mäl´), α _Arietis_, "the head of the sheep."

    Situated in the forehead of the Ram. It is yellow in color,
    and is approaching the earth at the rate of nine miles per
    second. It culminates Dec. 11th.

  HOMAM (ho-mam´), ζ _Pegasi_, "the lucky star of the hero, or
    the whisperer."

    Situated in the neck of Pegasus. Light yellow in color. It
    culminates Oct. 22d. The Century Dictionary gives this star
    name to η _Pegasi_.

  HYADUM I, γ _Tauri_.

    Situated in the Hyades, the nose of the Bull. A yellow star.

  IZAR (ē-zär), Mirach, or Mizar, ε _Boötis_, "the girdle."

    Pale orange in color. It is approaching the earth at the
    rate of ten miles per second, and culminates June 16th. A
    beautiful colored double star.

  JABBAH (Jab´-bä), ν _Scorpii_, "crown of the forehead."

    A triple star.

  KAUS (kâs), AUSTRALIS, ε _Sagittarii_, "the southern part of
    the bow."

    An orange-colored star. It culminates Aug. 8th.

  KAUS (kâs), BOREALIS, λ _Sagittarii_, "the northern part of
    the bow."

    Orange color.

  KITALPHA, α _Equulei_, the Arab name for the asterism. In
    the head of the Little Horse. It culminates Sept. 24th.

  KO´-CHAB (kō-käb´), β _Ursæ Minoris_, "the star of the

    Situated in the right shoulder of the Little Bear. One of
    the two Guardians of the Pole. It is reddish in color, and
    is receding from the earth at the rate of eight miles per
    second. It culminates June 19th.

  KORNEPHOROS, β _Herculis_, the Arab name for the

    Situated in the right arm-pit of Hercules. Pale yellow in
    color. It is approaching the earth at the rate of twenty-two
    miles per second. It culminates July 12th.

  LESUTH, ν _Scorpii_, "the sting."

    Situated in the tip of the Scorpion's tail. It culminates
    July 27th.

  MARFAK (mär´fak), θ _Cassiopeiæ_, "the elbow."

    Situated in the left elbow of Cassiopeia. This star name is
    also given to μ Cassiopeiæ.

  MARFIC (mär´-fik), λ _Ophiuchi_, "the elbow."

    Situated in the left elbow of the Serpent Bearer. Yellowish
    white in color.

  MARFIK (mär´ fik), or MARSIC, κ _Herculis_, "the elbow."

    Situated in the right elbow of Hercules. Light yellow in

  MAR´-KAB (mär´kab), α _Pegasi_, Arab word for "saddle".
    Century Dictionary gives "a wagon" or "chariot."

    Situated in the base of the Horse's neck. It is a white star
    which is receding from the earth at the rate of three
    quarters of a mile a second. It culminates Nov. 3d.

  MARKEB, κ _Argus_.

    Situated in the stern of the Ship. It culminates Mar. 25th.

  MARSYM, λ _Herculis_, "the wrist."

    Situated in the left wrist of Hercules. Deep yellow in

  MATAR or SAD (Säd), "a lucky star," or more fully,
    Sad-Mator, η _Pegasi_, "the fortunate rain."

    Situated in the left fore leg of Pegasus.

  MEBUSTA, MEBSUTA (Meb-sö´-ta), or MEBOULA, ε _Geminorum_,
    "the outstretched."

    A brilliant white star situated in the right knee of Castor.

  MEDIA, or KAUS MEDIA, δ _Sagittarii_, "middle (of the) bow."

    Orange yellow in color. It culminates Aug. 8th.

  MĒ-GRES, or (Mē´-grez), δ _Ursæ Majoris_, "the root of the
    bear's tail."

    It is a pale yellow star, and culminates May 10th. This star
    is the faintest of the seven which form the Dipper.

  MEISSA, λ _Orionis_.

    Situated in the face of the Giant Hunter. Pale white in

  MEKBUDA (mek-bū´-dā), ζ _Geminorum_, "the contracted (arm)."

    Situated in the left knee of Pollux. Pale topaz in color.

  MENKALINAN (men-ka-lē-nan´ or Men-kal´-i-nan), β _Aurigæ_,
    "the shoulder of the rein-holder or driver."

    Situated in the right arm of the Charioteer. A lucid yellow
    star which is receding from the earth at the rate of
    seventeen miles per second. It culminates Jan. 29th. This
    star was one of the first discovered and most remarkable
    "spectroscopic binaries."

  MENKAR (men´kär), α _Oeti_, "the nose, or snout."

    Situated in the nose of Cetus. Bright orange in color. It
    culminates Dec. 21st. Sometimes written Menkab.

  MENKIB, ξ _Persei_, "the shoulder."

    Situated in the calf of the right leg of Perseus.

  MERAK (mē´rak), β _Ursæ Majoris_, "the loin of the bear."

    A greenish white star which is approaching the earth at the
    rate of eighteen miles per second. It culminates Apr. 20th.
    The southern of the two "pointers."

  MESARTIM (mē-sär´tim), γ _Arietis_, the Hebrew word for

    Situated in the Ram's left horn. Bright white in color.

  MINTAKA (min´ta-kä), δ _Orionis_, "the belt (of the

    One of the three stars in Orion's belt. A brilliant white
    star with very little motion. It culminates Jan. 24th.

  MĪ´-RA (mī´ra or mē´ra), ο _Ceti_.

    Situated in the neck of Cetus. A famous variable, flushed
    yellow in color. It culminates Dec. 15th.

  MĪ´RACH, or MIRAK (mī´rak or mē´rak), β _Andromedæ_, "the
    girdle," or "the loins."

    A yellow star culminating Nov. 28th.

  MĪZAR (mīzär or mē´zär), ζ _Ursæ Majoris_, "a girdle or

    Situated in the tail of the Great Bear. Brilliant white in
    color. It is approaching the earth at the rate of nineteen
    miles per second. It culminates May 28th.

  MULIPHEN, γ _Canis Majoris_.

    Situated in the neck of the Greater Dog. It culminates Feb.

  MUPHRID (mū´-frid), η _Boötis_, "the solitary star of the

    Situated in the calf of the left leg of the Herdsman. Pale
    yellow in color. It culminates June 4th.

  MURZIM or MIRZAM (mer-zäm´), β _Canis Majoris_, "the
    announcer" or "the roarer."

    Situated in the Greater Dog's left fore paw. A white star
    culminating Feb. 5th.

  MUSCIDA, ο _Ursæ Majoris_, "the muzzle."

    Situated in the nose of the Great Bear.

  NEKKAR, or NAKKAR (nak´-kär), β _Boötis_, "the herdsman,"
    the Arab name for the whole constellation.

    Situated in the head of Boötes. A golden yellow star which
    culminates June 20th.

  NAOS (nā´-os), ζ _Argus_, "the ship."

    Situated in the stern of the Ship. It culminates Mar. 3d.

  NASHIRA, γ _Capricorni_, "the fortunate one, or the bringer
    of good tidings."

    Situated in the tail of the Sea-Goat. It culminates Oct. 3d.

  NIHAL, β _Leporis_.

    Situated in the right foot of the Hare. Deep yellow in
    color. It culminates Jan. 23d.

  NODUS SECUNDUS, δ _Draconis_, "the second of the four knots
    or convolutions."

    Deep yellow in color. It culminates Aug. 24th.

  NUNKI, σ _Sagittarii_, "the star of the proclamation of the
    sea," or SADIRA (sad´-ē-ra), "the ostrich returning from the

    Situated in the upper part of the Archer's left arm. It
    culminates Aug. 17th.

  PHAD, PHEC´-DA, or PHAED (fā´-ed), γ _Ursæ Majoris_, "the
    thigh" (of the bear).

    Topaz yellow in color. It is approaching the earth at the
    rate of sixteen miles per second. It culminates May 4th.

  PHAET or PHACT, α _Columbæ_.

    Situated in the heart of the Dove. It culminates Jan. 26th.

  PHERKAD (fer´-kad), γ _Ursæ Minoris_, "the calf."

    Situated in the right fore leg of the Little Bear.

  PO-LÁ-RIS, α _Ursæ Minoris_, "the pole star."

    Situated in the tip of the Little Bear's tail. Topaz yellow
    in color. It is receding from the earth at the rate of
    sixteen miles per second.

  POL´-LUX, β _Geminorum_, Ovid's "Pugil," the pugilist of the
    two brothers.

    Situated in the head of Pollux. An orange-colored star which
    is receding from the earth at the rate of one mile per
    second. It culminates Feb. 26th. The Century Dictionary
    gives the color of Pollux as very yellow.

  PORRIMA (por´-i-mä), γ _Virginis_, Latin name for "a goddess
    of prophecy."

    Situated in the Virgin's left arm. It culminates May 17th.

  PRO´-CY-ON, α _Canis Minoris_, "the foremost dog."

    A yellowish-white star. It is approaching the earth at the
    rate of six miles per second. It culminates Feb. 24th. It is
    situated in the right side of the Lesser Dog. Dr. Elkin
    gives its distance as 12.3 light years, and its proper
    motion as 13.9 miles per second.

  PROPUS (prō´-pus), η _Geminorum_, "the forward foot."

    Situated in the northern foot of Castor.

  RASALAS (ras´-a-las), μ _Leonis_, "the lion's head toward
    the south."

    Situated in the Sickle, close to the Lion's right eye. An
    orange-colored star. It culminates Apr. 1st. Alshemali and
    Borealis are other names for this star.

  RAS ALGETHI (räs-al-ge´-thi), α _Herculis_, "the kneeler's

    Orange red in color. It culminates July 23d.

  RAS´-AL-HĀG´-UE, α _Ophiuchi_, "the head of the serpent

    A sapphire-hued star. It is receding from the earth at the
    rate of twelve miles per second. It culminates July 28th.

  RASTABAN (räs-ta-bän´), β or γ _Draconis_ "the dragon's
    head," or "the head of the basilisk."

    A yellow star culminating Aug. 3d. This star also called
    Alwaid (al-wīd´) "the sucking camel-colts." The three stars
    near it are included in this appellation.

  REG´-U-LUS, α _Leonis_, diminutive of the earlier Rex.

    Situated in the handle of the Sickle, and the right fore paw
    of the Lion. It is flushed white in color, and is
    approaching the earth at the rate of five miles per second.
    It culminates April 6th. According to Dr. Elkin it is 35.1
    light years distant, and has a proper motion of 8.5 miles
    per second.

  RIGEL (ri´-jel), β _Orionis_, "the [left] leg of the Jabbah,
    or giant."

    A bluish-white star, which is receding from the earth at the
    rate of ten miles per second. It culminates Jan. 20th. This
    star is sometimes called Algebar (al´-je-bär).

  ROTANEV (rot´-a-nev), β _Delphini_, from Venator, assistant
    to Piazzi, his name reversed.

    It culminates Sept. 15th.

  RUCHBA, ω _Cygni_, "the hen's knee."

    A pale red star.

  RUCHBAH, or RUCBAH, δ _Cassiopeiæ_, "the knee."

    Situated in the left knee of Cassiopeia. It culminates Dec.

  RUKBAT, α _Sagittarii_, "the archer's knee."

    Situated in the left fore foot of the Archer. It culminates
    Aug. 24th.

  SABIK, η _Ophiuchi_.

    A pale yellow star in the left leg of the Serpent Bearer. It
    culminates Aug. 21st.

  SADACHBIA (sād-ak-bē´-yä), γ _Aquarii_, "the luck star of
    hidden things."

    Greenish in color and situated in the water jar of Aquarius.
    It culminates Oct. 16th.

  SAD AL BARI, λ and μ _Pegasi_, "the good luck of the
    excelling one."

    Situated close to the fore legs of Pegasus.

  SADAL MELIK (säd-al-mel´-ik), or RUCBAH, α _Aquarii_, "the
    lucky star of the king."

    A red star situated in the right shoulder of Aquarius. It
    culminates Oct. 9th.

  SADALSUND, or SADALSUUD (säd-al-sö-öd), β _Aquarii_, "the
    luckiest of the lucky."

    Pale yellow in color. Situated in the left shoulder of
    Aquarius. It culminates Sept. 29th.

  SADATONI (sad-a-tō´-ni), ζ _Aurigæ_.

    One of the three stars known as "the kids." Orange color.

  SADR (sadr), or SADIR (sā´-dēr), γ _Cygni_, "the hen's

    This star is approaching the earth at the rate of four miles
    per second. It culminates Sept. 11th.

  SAIPH (sā-if´), κ _Orionis_, "the sword of the giant."

    Situated in Orion's right knee. It culminates Jan. 27th.

  SARGAS, θ _Scorpii_.

    A red star situated in the tail of the Scorpion. It
    culminates July 27th.

  SCHEAT (she´-at), or Menkib, β _Pegasi_, "the upper part of
    the arm."

    Situated in the left fore-leg of Pegasus. It is deep yellow
    in color, and is receding from the earth at the rate of four
    miles per second. It culminates Oct. 25th.

  SCHEMALI, see Deneb al schemali, ι _Ceti_.

  SEGINUS (se-jī´nus), γ _Boötis_, from Ceginus of the
    constellation, possibly.

    Situated in the left shoulder of Boötes. It culminates June

  SHAULA (shâ´-lä), λ _Scorpii_, "the sting."

    In the tip of the Scorpion's tail.

  SHEDAR, SCHEDIR, or SHEDIR, α _Cassiopeiæ_, "the breast," or
    from El Seder, "the sedar tree," a name given to this
    constellation by Ulugh Beigh.

    Pale rose in color. It culminates Nov. 18th.

  SHELIAK, or SHELYAK (shel´-yak), "a tortoise," β _Lyræ_,
    Arabian name for the constellation.

    A very white star culminating Aug. 17th.

  SHERATAN (sher-a-tan´), β _Arietis_, "a sign," or "the two

    Situated in the Ram's horn. A pearly white star culminating
    Dec. 7th.

  SIR´-I-US, α _Canis Majoris_, "the sparkling star or

    Situated in the mouth of the Great Dog. Brilliant white in
    color. The brightest of the fixed stars. It culminates Feb.

  SITULA (sit´-ū-lā), κ _Aquarii_, "the water jar or bucket."

    Situated in the rim of the Water Jar.

  SKAT, or SCHEAT, δ _Aquarii_, "a wish," or possibly it means
    a "shin bone."

    Situated in the right leg of Aquarius.

  SPÏ´CA, α _Virginis_, "the ear of wheat or corn" (held in
    the Virgin's left hand).

    A brilliant flushed white star, which is approaching the
    earth at the rate of nine miles a second. It culminates May

  SUALOCIN, or SVALOCIN (sval´-ō-sin), Nicolaus reversed, α

    A pale yellow star culminating Sept. 15th.

  SULAFAT, or SULAPHAT (sö´-lä-fät), "the tortoise," γ

    Arabian title for the whole constellation. It is bright
    yellow in color, and culminates Aug. 19th.

  SYRMA, ι _Virginis_; this name used by Ptolemy to designate
    this star in the train of the Virgin's robe.

  TALITA (tä´-lē-tä), κ or ι _Ursæ Majoris_, "the third

    Situated in the right fore paw of the Great Bear. Topaz
    yellow in color.

  TANIA BOREALIS, λ _Ursæ Majoris_.

  TANIA AUSTRALIS, μ _Ursæ Majoris_, a red star.

    These stars are situated in the right hind foot of the Great
    Bear. The former star culminates Apr. 8th.

  TARAZED (tar´-a-zed), γ _Aquilæ_, "the soaring falcon," part
    of the Persian title for the constellation.

    Situated in the body of the Eagle. A pale orange star,
    culminating Aug. 31st.

  TEGMENI, ζ _Cancri_, "in the covering."

    A yellow-colored star.

  TE´-JAT, μ _Geminorum_.

  THU´-BAN or (thō-ban´), α _Draconis_, "the dragon," the Arab
    title for the constellation.

    Situated in one of the Dragon's coils. It is pale yellow in
    color, and culminates June 7th.

  UNUK AL HAY or UNUKALHAI (ū´-nuk-al-hä´-i), α _Serpentis_,
    "the neck of the snake."

    A pale yellow star which is receding from the earth at the
    rate of fourteen miles a second. It culminates July 28th.

  VË´GA, or WEGA, α _Lyræ_, "falling," _i.e._, the falling
    bird, "the harp star."

    A beautiful pale star sapphire in color. It is approaching
    the earth at the rate of nine miles a second. It culminates
    Aug. 12th.

  VINDEMIATRIX, ε _Virginis_, "the vintager or grape

    Situated in the Virgin's right arm. A bright yellow star
    culminating May 22d.

  WASAT (wä´-sat), δ _Geminorum_, "the middle."

    Situated in the body of Pollux. Pale white in color. It
    culminates Feb. 19th.

  WESEN, δ _Canis Majoris_, "the weight."

    A light yellow star in the right side of the Great Dog. It
    culminates Feb. 17th.

  YED PRIOR (yed), δ _Ophiuchi_, "the hand," "the star behind
    or following."

    Deep yellow in color. It culminates July 7th. It is in the
    left hand of the Serpent Bearer.

  YED POSTERIOR, ε _Ophiuchi_, "the hand."

    A red star culminating July 8th.

  YILDUM, δ _Ursæ Minoris_.

    Situated in the tail of the Little Bear. A greenish-hued
    star culminating Aug. 12th.

  ZANIAH, η _Virginis_.

    Situated in the Virgin's left shoulder.

  ZAURAK (zâ´-rak), γ _Eridani_, "the bright star of the

    A yellow star.

  ZAVIJAVA (zav-ija´-va), β _Virginis_, "angle or corner,"
    "the retreat or kennel of the barking dog."

    Situated on the Virgin's left wing. A pale yellow star
    culminating May 3d.

  ZOSMA (zōs´-ma), δ _Leonis_, "a girdle."

    Situated at the root of the Lion's tail. A pale yellow star
    which is approaching the earth at the rate of nine miles a
    second. It culminates Apr. 24th. This star is also called
    Duhr, and sometimes Zubra.

  ZUBENAKRAVI (zöben-ak´-ra-vi or -bi), γ _Scorpii_, "the claw
    of the Scorpion." A red star.

  ZUBEN ELGENUBI (zö-ben-el-jen-ū´-bi), α _Libræ_, "the
    southern claw" (of the Scorpion).

    A pale yellow star culminating June 17th. This star is also
    called Kiffa Australis.

  ZUBEN ESCHAMALI (zö-ben-es-she-ma´-li), β _Libræ_, "the
    northern claw."

    A pale emerald color, a very unusual color for a star. It is
    approaching the earth at the rate of six miles a second and
    culminates June 23d. This star is also known as "Kiffa

In the compilation of the foregoing list, the author has been greatly
assisted by Allen's "Star Names and their Meanings."

[Footnote 1: It will be noted that the date of culmination is given in
almost every case. By culmination is meant the highest point reached by
a heavenly body in its path, at which point it is said to be on the
meridian. In this hemisphere this is in each case the highest point

For example:--the culmination of the sun occurs at noon.

The time when the stars here mentioned culminate on the dates specified
is in each case nine o'clock P.M.]


       DATE    | NAME OF STAR    |       CONSTELLATION
  January 1    |Regulus, 1st.    |Leo.
     "    8    |Alphard, 2d.     |Hydra.
     "    11   |Cor Caroli.      |Canes Venatici.
  February 20  |Arcturus, 1st.   |Boötes.
  March   1    |Spica, 1st.      |Virgo.
     "    5    |Gemma, 2d.       |Corona Borealis.
  April   1    |Vega, 1st.       |Lyra.
     "    20   |Ras Alhague, 2d. |Ophiuchus.
     "    22   |Deneb, 2d.       |Cygnus.
  May   9      |Antares, 1st.    |Scorpius.
     "    26   |Altair, 1st.     |Aquila.
  June  5      |                 |Delphinus.
  July  17     |Algenib, 2d.     |Perseus.
  August 6     |Algol.           |Perseus.
     "   21    |Capella, 1st.    |Auriga.
     "    "    |Hamal, 2d.       |Aries.
     "   27    |Fomalhaut, 1st.  |Piscis Australis.
  September 13 |                 |The Pleiades in Taurus.
  October 2    |Aldebaran, 1st.  |Taurus.
     "    26   |Bellatrix, 2d.   |Orion.
     "    30   |Castor, 2d.      |Gemini.
     "     "   |Betelgeuze, 1st. |Orion.
  November 4   |Pollux, 1st.     |Gemini.
     "     "   |Rigel, 1st.      |Orion.
     "     27  |Procyon, 1st.    |Canis Minor.
  December 4   |Sirius, 1st.     |Canis Major.
     "     8   |Phaet, 2d.       |Columba.
     "     14  |                 |The Bee Hive in Cancer.
     "     16  |                 |The head of Hydra.


  NAME      PAGE

  Andromeda,  73

  Antinoüs,  39

  Aquarius,  81

  Aquila,  39

  Argo Navis,  107

  Aries,  85

  Auriga,  11

  Boötes,  55

  Brandenburg Sceptre, The,  111

  Bull of Poniatowskio,  45

  Camelopardalis,  7

  Cancer,  13

  Canes Venatici,  59

  Canis Major,  105

  Canis Minor,  21

  Capricornus,  83

  Cassiopeia,  67

  Cepheus,  69

  Cerberus,  53

  Cetus,  87

  Columba,  103

  Coma Berenices,  19

  Corona Australis,  43

  Corona Borealis,  51

  Corvus,  23

  Crater,  25

  Cygnus,  37

  Delphinus,  41

  Draco,  33

  Equüleus,  71

  Eridanus,  111

  Gemini,  9

  Gloria Frederica,  73

  Hercules,  53

  Herschel's Telescope,  11

  Hydra,  15

  Leo,  17

  Leo Minor,  95

  Lepus,  101

  Libra,  49

  Lupus,  47

  Lynx,  95

  Lyra,  35

  Monoceros,  109

  Musca,  89

  Ophiuchus,  45

  Orion,  99

  Pegasus,  71

  Perseus,  75

  Pisces,  77

  Piscis Australis,  81

  Sagitta,  37

  Sagittarius,  43

  Scorpius,  47

  Serpens,  45

  Sobieski's Shield,  39

  Taurus,  97

  Triangulum,  79

  Ursa Major,  5

  Ursa Minor,  7

  Virgo,  57

  Vulpecular and Anser,  41

Popular Books on Astronomy

By William Tyler Olcott

_Excellently arranged, and copiously illustrated, these little
manuals--real field-books--should prove valuable for all who want to
become familiar with the stars_

A Field Book of the Stars

_16mo. With Fifty Diagrams._

    To facilitate the fascinating recreation of star-gazing the
    author has designed this field-book. All matters of a
    technical or theoretical nature have been omitted. Only what
    the reader can observe with the naked eye or with an
    opera-glass have been included in it. Simplicity and brevity
    have been aimed at, the main idea being that whatever is
    bulky or verbose is a hindrance rather than a help when one
    is engaged in the observation of the heavens.

In Starland with a Three-Inch Telescope

A Conveniently Arranged Guide for the Use of the Amateur Astronomer

_16mo. With Forty Diagrams of the Constellations and Eight of the

    The _raison d'etre_ therefore for the book is convenience
    and arrangement. The author has found by experience that
    what the student most needs when he is observing with a
    telescope, is a page to glance at that will serve as a guide
    to the object he desires to view, and which affords concise
    data relative to that object. The diagrams therefore direct
    the student's vision and the subject-matter affords the
    necessary information in each case.

Star Lore of All Ages

A Collection of Myths, Legends, and Facts Concerning the
Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere

_8vo. Fully Illustrated._

    Will appeal alike to those who are interested in folk-lore
    and those who are attracted by astronomy. In it the author
    has gathered together the curious myths and traditions that
    have attached themselves from the earliest times to
    different constellations and even to individual stars.

  New York      London

The Essence of Astronomy

Things Every One Should Know About the Sun, Moon and Stars

By Edward W. Price

_12mo. Fully Illustrated._

    Here is a volume quite different from the usual "popular
    book on astronomy."

    It answers in untechnical language the every-day questions
    of every-day people, the material being so arranged that it
    is readily available for quick reference use, as well as for
    interesting consecutive reading.

    An individual chapter is devoted to each member of the Solar
    System. Special space is given to "Curiosities of the

    The illustrations are from photographs taken at the great
    observatories. The drawings of Mars are the most recent
    published, being made by Professor Lowell in January, 1914.

    The chronological table and annotated bibliography are of
    real value.

Sun Lore of All Ages

A Collection of Myths and Legends Concerning the Sun and its Worship

By William Tyler Olcott

Author of "Star Lore of All Ages," "A Field Book of the Stars," etc.

_8vo. With 30 Illustrations._

    A companion volume to _Star Lore of All Ages_ by the same
    author. It comprises a compilation of the myths, legends,
    and facts concerning the sun, of equal interest to the
    lay-reader or to the student.

    The literature of the subject is teeming with interest,
    linked as it is with the life story of mankind from the
    cradle of the race to the present day, for the solar myth
    lies at the very foundation of all mythology, and as such
    must forever claim pre-eminence.

  G.P. Putnam's Sons
  New York      London

Astronomy in a Nutshell

The Chief Facts and Principles Explained in Popular Language for
General Readers and for Schools

By Garrett P. Serviss

_Cr. 8vo. With 47 Illustrations._

    Presents the subject of astronomy in a succinct, popular
    form. No mathematical knowledge beyond the simplest outlines
    is assumed on the part of the reader. The great underlying
    facts and principles of astronomy are presented in a shape
    which any intelligent person can comprehend. The book may be
    used either for self-instruction or for schools.

History of Astronomy

By George Forbes, M.A., F.R.S., M.Inst.C.E.

Formerly Professor of Natural Philosophy, Anderson's College, Glasgow

_16mo. Adequately Illustrated._

_No. 1. A History of the Science Series_

    The author traces the evolution of intellectual thought in
    the progress of astronomical discovery, recognizing the
    various points of view of the different ages, giving due
    credit even to the ancients. It has been necessary to
    curtail many parts of the history, to lay before the reader
    in unlimited space enough about each age to illustrate its
    tone and spirit, the ideals of the workers, the gradual
    addition of new points of view and of new means of

An Easy Guide to the Constellations

With a Miniature Atlas of the Stars

By James Gall

Author of "The People's Atlas of the Stars," etc.

_New and Enlarged Edition, with 30 Maps 16mo._

    This new edition of _An Easy Guide to the Constellations_
    has been thoroughly revised: five additional plates have
    been added, so as to include all the constellations of the
    Zodiac, and render the book complete for Southern Europe and
    the United States.

  G.P. Putnam's Sons
  New York      London

The Destinies of the Stars


Svante Arrhenius

Author of "Worlds in the Making," etc.

_12mo. 26 Illustrations._

    With keenness, brilliancy, and distinguished learning, Dr.
    Arrhenius, a Nobel Prize winner, having had occasion
    repeatedly to treat new questions of a cosmological nature,
    questions largely arisen from new discoveries and
    observations within the scope of astronomy, opens to the
    reader vast new vistas, through the study of the relation of
    the stars to the "Milky Way" and through observations of our
    neighbor planets.

  G.P. Putnam's Sons
  New York      London

  Transcriber's notes:
    Corrections made:
      Page 12 Au iga corrected to Auriga.
      Page 118 preceptible corrected to perceptible.
      Page 148 Oeti corrected to Ceti.
      Page 163 cometimes corrected to sometimes.

    Inconsistencies retained:
      Alphecca and Alphacca.
      Gloria Frederika and Gloria Frederica.
      Bull of Poniatowskio and Bull of Poniatowski.

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