Bootes The Herdsman

One of the largest constellations seen in northern skies is Bootes. With 903 square degrees of sky, it is ranked 13 overall in size. There are seven stars with a magnitude of 3.5 or brighter that make up the asterism including brilliant Arcturus. Arcturus is a KIII red giant star located only 37 light-years from Earth. It measures 25 times the size of the Sun or 32 million kilometres wide, in other words, half the distance to the orbit of Mercury. A simple way to find this star is to ”follow the Big Dipper’s arc to Arcturus”. At magnitude 0.2 Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the entire sky behind Sirius, Canopus (not seen from Canada) and Vega.

Chart 2

Chart 1

Author: 
garyboyle@xplornet.ca
eNews date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
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