Do You REALLY Know Your February Constellations?

February Constellations

Later this month, I will be assisting during the public observing session at Cline Observatory. Here are some questions about the night sky this month.  The winners from my Periscope broadcast are listed below.  How many could you answer correctly?

  1. In 1834 Friedrich Bessel announced this star had a slight wobble to its position. In 1862 Alvan Clark discovered a faint companion now known as “the Pup.”  What’s the name of this star that told the ancient Egyptians that the Nile was going to flood, and is the brightest star in the night sky?

  2. Also in Canis Major is stellar cluster NGC 2362, For what does “NGC” stand?

  3. The brightest star in Orion is Beta Orion. What is the popular name for Beta Orion?

  4. Betelguese is one shoulder star in Orion. If you’re a Harry Potter

    IMG_1004
    Painting of Orion by Keith Pearman

    fan, the name of the other shoulder star should be familiar. Can you name it?

  5. Epsilon Auriga is near Capella. Capella is 50 light years away and is similar to our sun, but larger. Epsilon is remarkable for what attribute?

  6. Next to Auriga is the constellation Gemini. Alpha Gem is Castor. Can you name Beta Gem?

  7. NGC 2392 is an 8th magnitude planetary nebula. What is it’s popular name?

  8. Going further toward the East, we come to another Harry Potter star, Alpha Leo. With the same name as Sirius Black’s brother. Can you name it?

  9. What meteor shower seems to eminate from the area of Leo and peaks around November 17 annually?

  10. North of Leo is the constellation with Mizar and Alcor, components of a famous apparent double star 12 arc seconds apart. Can you name the constellation?

 

Correct answers…………………winners and notes

  1. Sirius………………………….bowls   Harry Potter’s uncle was Sirius Black, who could turn into a big dog.

  2. New General Catalog…..kingpin55   It’s not “new” any more since it was published in 1888.

  3. Rigel…………………….…….katimus   This flies in the face of the Bayer designation, where Alpha is suppose to be the brightest star in the constellation.

  4. Bellatrix………………..….. katimus   She killed Sirius Black!

  5. Variable star………………Peripilot     Epsilon Auriga has a 27 year period and changes up to 2/3rds of a magnitude.

  6. Pollux……………………..…theramblersmotto   There are many double stars in this constellation.

  7. Clownface nebula……… 1Johnnyboy      Sometimes this nebula is known as the Eskimo nebula

  8. Regulus…………………….theramblersmotto

  9. Leonids……………..………rossm3838    The Leonid meteor shower of 1833 marks the birth of meteor astronomy.  Until then, many people did not think that rocks could fall from the sky.

  10. Ursa Major……………..….rossm3838    Used in some cultures to check eyesight and determine who will be scouts and lookouts.

Leaderboard

katimus……………………two

theramblersmotto…….two

rossm3838……………….two

Dylon_gr8est_rapper…one

kingpin55…………………one

bowls……………………….one

Peripilot……………………one

1Johnnyboy………………one


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