Star’s the limit 

Source of Information: http://www.seasky.org/constellations/constellations-june.html

30 Days Wild Challenge: On Thursday 29th of June The Herts and Essex community farm has challenged you members of the public to stargaze!

We all like to look up at all the pretty stars and admire the wonders of the sky. However many of us have no clue what a constellation is or how to find one, or you could be the percentage that knows where to look but would like to know the meaning behind June’s stars. Well then look no further, the images below are of the constellations that you could see this month, along with some information about them.

menu-bootes The Herdsman
Boötes – The Herdsman

Boötes a.k.a The Herdsman is visible in the northern hemisphere from spring through the summer. It is a large constellation covering an area of 907 square degrees. This makes it the 13th largest constellation in the night sky.

Boötes is one of the 48 constellations listed by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. Its name comes from a Greek word that means ox driver, plowman, or herdsman. It is typically depicted as a herdsman. It is an ancient constellation that has been known since the time of the Babylonians. They depicted it as their god Enlil, who was the leader of the Babylonian pantheon and the patron of farmers. The ancient Greeks once called this constellation Arctophylax, which means “the protector of the Bear”. The Romans called it Venator Ursae, “the Bear Hunter”. The name Boötes first appeared in The Odyssey, written by the Greek author Homer almost three thousand years ago.

 

menu-libra- The scales
Libra – The Scales

Libra a.k.a The scales is a medium-sized constellation occupying an area of 538 square degrees. It ranks 29th in size among the 88 constellations in the night sky. It is one of the thirteen constellations of the zodiac. This means it lies along the path the Sun travels in the sky during the year. It is the only constellation of the zodiac that represents an object instead of an animal or a person from mythology.

Libra is one of the 48 constellations first cataloged by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. Its name means “the weighing scales” in Latin. It is usually depicted as the scales held by the Greek goddess of justice Astrea, which is represented by the neighboring constellation Virgo. Virgo is an ancient constellation with its roots in many early cultures. The ancient Babylonians saw it as the Balance of Heaven. In ancient Greece, it represented the claws of the scorpion, and was considered to be part of the constellation Scorpius. In ancient Egypt the three brightest stars formed a constellation that was viewed as a boat. To the early Romans, it was the golden chariot of Pluto, god of the Underworld. It eventually came to be associated with the scales. Today it is seen as a universal symbol of balance, harmony, and justice.

menu-lupus- The wolf
Lupus – The Wolf

Lupus a.ka The Wolf is located in the southern hemisphere of the sky. It is best seen in the northern hemisphere in June. It is a mid-sized constellation filling 334 square degrees of the sky. It ranks 46th in size among the 88 constellations of the night sky.

Lupus is one of the 48 constellations first identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. Its name means “the wolf” in Latin. Even though it is one of the older constellations, it is not associated with any mythology. The stars that make up this constellation were originally a part of the constellation Centaurus. They represented an animal that had been killed by the centaur. It was separated from Centaurus by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus in the third century BC. No particular animal was associated with it. The ancient Greeks knew it as Therium, a wild animal. The Romans called it Bestia, the beast. A later Latin translation of Ptolemy’s work finally identified it as a wolf.

menu-ursa-minor- the little bear
Ursa Minor – The Little Bear

And Last but not least The Ursa Minor a.ka. The Little Bear. This Constellation is visible in the northern hemisphere all year long. It is a small constellation covering an area of 256 square degrees. It ranks 56th in size among the 88 constellations in the night sky. It is famous for a group of stars known as the Little Dipper and for Polaris, the North Star, which is located at the tip of the dipper’s handle. Polaris is called the North Star because it is the closest star to the north celestial pole. This means that as the Earth rotates, Polaris appears to remain stationary in the sky while all of the other stars rotate around it. Because the Earth wobbles slightly as it rotates on its axis, Polaris will not always be the North Star.

Ursa Minor is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. Its name means “lesser bear” in Latin. It is an ancient constellation with roots in many cultures. To the ancient Babylonians it was known as the Wagon of Heaven. In Greek mythology, this constellation was associated with two different myths. In one, it represented Ida and her sister Adrasteia, the nymphs who took care of Zeus on the island of Crete when he was small. Zeus rewarded them by placing them in the heavens. In another, it represented Arcas, who was the son of Zeus and the nymph Callisto. Arcas and his mother were transformed into bears and placed in the night sky.

On your hunt look out for these three Constellations, when your out star gazing with friends or family you’ll be able to impress them with you knowledge. Don’t forget to send in pictures of your time and any constellations you see. We would love to see how you got on and all the fun you’ve had.

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