Constellations of Draco and Ursa Minor
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Constellations of Draco and Ursa Minor
Roll mouse over picture to see constellation figures and outlines
Image and text ©2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images.

In the picture above, Polaris marks north and the image covers 56.8 x 71.0 degrees.
Image centre is located at 00:00:01.2, +64:08:46 (H:M:S, D:M:S, J2000) Astrometric data from Astrometry.net.

Draco and Ursa Minor
Best seen in the early evening in the northern summer

Draco (the Dragon) is said to represent Ladon, the multi-headed dragon slaughtered by Hercules, an act necessary to obtain the golden apples from the garden of Hesperides as the 11th of his 12 labours. Other ancient, dragonocentric legends exist.

The constellation itself is rather indistinct with few bright stars, but it is a large and rambling construction wrapped around the north celestial pole. It extends from close to the Pole Star to more than 40 degrees of delination south of it and wanders over 11 hours of Right Ascension between Hercules and the Big Dipper. It is the 8th largest constelation in terms of area, which is over 1000 square degrees. This image also contains the constellation of Ursa Minor, shown on its own page.

Named stars in Draco: (Greek alphabet)
Aldhibah (Nodus I, ζ Dra), Alsafi (σ Dra), Arrakis (Al Rakis, ν Dra), Altais (Aldib, Nodus II, δ Dra), Dziban (ψ1 Dra), Edasich (ι Dra), Eltanin (Etamin, γ Dra), Giansar (Gianfir, λ Dra), Grumium (ξ Dra), Kuma (ν2 Dra), Rastaban (β Dra), Thuban (α Dra), Tyl (ε Dra)

Constellations adjoining Draco:
Boötes, Camelopardalis, Cephus, Cygnus, Hercules, Lyra, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor.

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David Malin, 2015, February 27.