News, Updates, and Resources for Constellations Tonight
Build an LED clipboard
Download article LED
Made Easy (MS Word file).
John French's LED light pointer -
Made with an old lens from a slide projector, PVC fitting, and
Guide: Books, Articles, and Websites on the Astronomy
of Many Cultures from Around the World, by Andrew
Fraknoi (Astronomical Society of the Pacific and Foothill
College) - annotated listing of over 90 books, articles,
and websites that deal with the astronomy of diverse
cultures around the world. The readings cover the astronomical
work and ideas of South and Central America, Hawaii
and Polynesia, Africa, India, and Islamic countries.
Also included are the astronomical ideas of the Native
Americans of North America, issues relating to people
of color in the U.S., plus a small set of readings
about Asian and ancient European cultures.
book (PDF - 1Mb). Includes African star map on
page 17. This product was produced by Lawerence Hall
of Science staff for the Learning Technologies Inc.
African star cylinder.
2007 Mar 18. Astronomy
in the Harry Potter Series, by Mike Weinstein - Looking
at various astronomical topics that come up in the books,
to see how they compare to astronomical reality. (Could
Harry see Orion in June? How about Venus at midnight?)
Includes all seven books.
- 2007 Feb 10. The
Harry Potter Astronomical Marathon, By Mike Weinstein
- Fictional account of staying up all
night to see all the stars and constellations whose
names are used in the books. (Except that it was written
before the last book came out, so I didn't mention Draco's
future son, Scorpius Malfoy. I think you can see Scorpius
during the night in question as well.)
- 2006 January 9. NASA press release: There's
More to the North Star Than Meets the Eye. By
stretching the capabilities of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
to the limit, astronomers have photographed the close
companion of Polaris for the first time. This sequence
of images shows that the North Star, Polaris is really
a triple star system. These findings were presented
today in a press conference at the 207th meeting of
the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.
- 2001 Nov 20. Astronomy
Classes, by Mike Weinstein - Brief
discussion of Harry Potter's Astronomy lessons at Hogwarts.
- Pleiades (Matariki) in New Zealand: The winter solstice
occurs in June in New Zealand and there is a Maori event
which marks the return of longer days. Around this time
the star cluster Pleiades (known as Matariki) rises just
before the Sun and provides a dramatic marker for the
season. More information on Matariki can be found at http://www.matariki.net.nz/
- Pronunciation of constellation names can be found at:
- Japanese star stories online, http://www.amariver.com --Hideo
Fujii, Ama River Publishing
- Constellations and Stars--educational resource by Jim
Includes photos of the constellations
- Follow the Drinking Gourd web page on Cryptology
and The Slave Quilts, Patrick D. Weadon, National Security
Agency website -- http://www.nsa.gov/publications/publi00011.cfm
- Mythology of the Constellations www.emufarm.org/~cmbell/myth/myth.html
- Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans: A
-- translation and commentary by Dr. Theony
- Story of Tanabata
Halloween Story about Pleiades (from
Hard Copy Books
- Brown, Dayle, Skylore
from Planet Earth series: Skylore
from Planet Earth: stories from around the world...ORION
- Kitao, Kouichi, Star Lore of Japan: The
of a People. Ama River Publishing, Amhearst,
MA. 2002. http://www.amariver.com
- Kerrod, Robin, The Sky at Night: A Complete
Interactive Kit, Barron's Educational
Series, Hauppauge, NY, 2000. Helps beginners
identify constellations and locate specific stars,
explains astronomical terms and celesstial phenomena.
Includes planisphere (42°N), red flashlight,
star maps and guides.
- Miller, Dorcas S., Stars of the First People:
Native American Star Myths and Constellations,
Pruett Publishing Co. 1997.
- Native American Sky Lore (Book): Miller, Dorcas
S., Stars of the First People, Pruett Publishing
Co., Boulder, Colorado, 1997, ISBN 0-87108-858-4
From the Winnebago Nation of the Great Lakes region.
On Inuit star maps, the cluster Pleiades is sometimes
known as Aggiattaat--a representation of the polar bear
encircled by a pack of dogs. Orion's belt represents
hunters in pursuit. These figures remain fixed in permanent
chase across the night sky. [from Forest Magazine
Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, Winter,
Quick-facts about Slides of Astronomical Objects
in Constellations Tonight
Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)
It is located off of the last star in the handle of
the Big Dipper, on the concave side of the handle,
in the constellation of Canes Venatici. It is a beautiful
face-on spiral, with a companion galaxy and active
Distance: 37 million ly
The Pleiades (M45)
Best known open cluster of stars, in the constellation
of Taurus. Known also as the Seven Sisters in Greek
mythology and Subaru in Japanese mythology. There
are 6-7 visible to the naked eye, and about 500 total.
Age of the cluster is approximately 100 million years.
Distance: 380 ly
Orion's Belt Region
Shows the three "belt stars" of Orion, and Orion's "sword".
Shows the Orion Nebula, the Horsehead Nebula, and a
reflection nebula near the Horsehead.
Distance: 1,600 ly
The Great Nebula in Orion (M42)
A diffuse nebula, specifically an emission and reflection
nebula. It is the brightest diffuse nebula in the
sky, visible to the naked eye. It is a "star nursery",
with protoplanetary disks recently discovered.
Distance: 1,600 ly
A gorgeous image from Hubble Space Telescope: A BOW
SHOCK NEAR A YOUNG STAR, a treasure within the intense
star-forming region of the Great Nebula in Orion. http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/05
The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33)
A dark nebula in the constellation of Orion. A dark
globule of dust and non-luminous gas, obscuring the
light coming from behind, especially the moderately
bright nebula IC 434. It is the most famous section
of Barnard's Loop.
Distance: 1,600 ly