Constellation of Auriga
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Auriga
Roll mouse over picture to see constellation figures and outlines
Image and text ©2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images.

In the picture above, north is at the top and the image covers 29.2 x 36.4 degrees.
Image centre is located at 05:47:32.4, +41:07:17(H:M:S, D:M:S, J2000) Astrometric data from Astrometry.net.

Auriga
Best seen in the early evening in February

Auriga (the Charioteer) is one of 48 constellations (out of the current 88) that that were noted by Ptolemy (83-161 CE). It represents a chariot and its driver, a shepherd, with a goat or a sheep over his shoulder. The brightest star in Auriga is Capella, which is the ancient Greek word for little goat. It is a binary star 42 light years distant and is about 75 times more liminous that the Sun. Surprisingly, Capella is one of only two conspicuous stars whose combined light is similar to that of the Sun (the other is Alpha Centauri), so appears white on this photograph. Sun-like stars are common but are generally too faint to be seen at a distance which is why there are so few visible to the eye.

Main named stars: (Greek alphabet)
Elnath (El Nath, γ Aur = β Tau), Almaaz (ε Aur), Capella (Alhajoth, α Aur), Haedus I ( Sadatoni, ζ Aur), Haedus II (η Aur), Hassaleh (Kabdhilinan, ι Aur), Mahasim (θ Aur), Menkalinan (β Aur).
Adjoining constellations: Camelopardalis, Gemini, Lynx, Perseus, Taurus.

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David Malin, 2015 February 27.