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LYRA. contains 6 stars of the 3rd magnitude, one of them Albi'reo, or B, in the beak, is a beautiful double star.
The constellation Ce pheus contains no remarkable stars; it is situated between Cygnus and the north pole. It is easily found by observing that his left foot is close upon the pole star, and directing the eye in search of three stars of the 4th mag. which are in his head.
Three others of the 3rd mag., one in his right shoulder, one in his side, and another in his left knee, form an arc of a cir. cle, of which a star of the 4th magnitude in his left shoulder is the centre.
Below Pegasus, and nearer the meridian, is Aquarius, containing 4 stars of the 3rd magnitude. A line drawn from a in Andromeda,
through Markab, will point to a in Aquarius. Its altitude is 32°; azimuth, S.S.E. The young student in search of Aquarius will do well to search for the four stars which form the water-pot, and which are arranged as represented in the drawing.
A bright star of the 1st magnitude, named Fomalhaut, in Piscis Australis, is then upon the horizon; azimuth, S.S.E.
Delphinus is a small constellation, situated about 30° below Cygnus, upon the meridian: it contains 5 stars of the 3rd mag. ; 4 of them are
placed close together and form the figure of a rhombus, or lozenge. A line, drawn through the two under stars of the square, will point to it: its altitude is about 50°.
A little to the west of Delphinus, but not
quite so high, is AquiDELPHINUS.
la, containing one very bright star, of the 1st magnitude, named Atair ;-it may very easily be known, from having a star on each side of it, of the 3rd magnitude, forming a straight line : the length of the line is only about 5° : Altitude of Atair, 40°; azimuth, S.S. W.
Considerably above Atair, and a little to the west of Cygnus, is Lyra, containing a star of the 1st magnitude, one of the most brilliant in the firmament. It is called Lyra, or Vega, and is 35o to the north-west of Atair: altitude, 60°; azimuth, W.S. W. Lyra, Atair, and Arided, form a large triangle.
We come now to notice three constellations, which occupy a considerable space in the western side of the heavens :—these are Hercules, immediately below Lyra; Serpentarius, between Hercules and the horizon, extending a little more towards the south ; and Boötes, reaching from the horizon W.N. W. to the altitude of 45°.
Hercules is rather a difficult constellation for the beginner to make out. It is best to seek first for a star in his right foot, which, with three others in the head of the dragon, form a lozenge-shaped figure not easily mistaken. When this star is once detected the arrangement of the other stars, as indicated in the annexed drawing, may be made out. It contains 8 stars of the 3rd magnitude: the star in the head a, named Ras Al'gethi, is within 5° of a, in the head of Serpentarius. This last is a star of the 2nd mag., and is named Ras Alhague; its altitude is 90°; azimuth, S. W. by W. W. A line drawn from Lyra, perpendicular to the horizon, will pass between these 2 stars. The other stars
in Hercules extend towards the zenith, and those in Serpentarius towards the horizon. The remarkable cluster of stars figured in p. 270, is situated midway between & and , Herculis, as shown in the cut. Of this magnificent cluster Professor Nichol remarks, it is impossible to give a fitting representation of it. Perhaps no one ever saw it for the first time through a large telescope without uttering a shout of wonder.
The constellation Boötes may easily be known from the brilliancy of Arcturus, a star of the 1st magnitude, and supposed to be the nearest
to our system of any in the northern hemisphere; it is within 10° of the horizon; azimuth, W.N. W. Boötes also contains 7 stars of the 3rd magnitude, mostly situated higher in the heavens than Arcturus. The star immediately above Arcturus is called Mezen Mirach, and is marked s; it is a beautiful double star of different colours. The star in the left shoulder, d, named Seginus, forms, with Mirach and Arctu. rus, a straight line.
Between Serpentarius and Boötes is Serpens, containing 1 star of the 2nd, and 8 of the 3rd, magnitude: a in Serpens is nearly at the same distance from the horizon as Arcturus; azimuth, W.
Above Serpens, and a little to the east of Boötes, is the Northern Crown, containing 1 star of the 2d magnitude, named Gemma, and several of the 3d, which have the appearance of a semicircle. A line, drawn from Lyra to Arcturus, will pass through this constellation.
We come now to Ursa Major, a constellation containing 1 star of the 1st, 3 of the 2d, and 3 of the 3d magnitude. It may easily be dis
URSA MAJOR. tinguished by these 7 stars, which, from their resemblance to a waggon, are called Charles's Wain. The 4 stars in the form of a long square, are the four wheels of the waggon; the 3 stars in the tail of the Bear are the three horses, which appear fixed to one of the wheels. The two hind wheels («, named Dubhe, and B) are called the pointers, from their always pointing nearly to the north pole : hence the pole star may be known. The other prominent stars in the Bear will be made out with tolerable ease by a reference to the engraving. The altitude rf Dubhe is 30°; azimuth, N. by W. 1 W. :--the distance between the two pointers is 5o; the distance between the pole star and Dubhe, the upper pointer, is 30° *.
Ursa Minor, besides the pole star, of the 2d magnitude, situated in the tail, contains 3 of the 3d, and 3 of the 4th magnitude. These form a figure having some resemblance to Charles's Wain, and may easily be
traced. URSA MINOR. Draco, containing 4 stars of the 2d, and 7 of the 3d magnitude, spreads itself in the heavens near Ursa Minor; the 4 stars in the head are in the form of a rhombus, or lozenge; the tail is between the pole star and Charles's Wain.
Besides these constellations, there are a number of others, which, as they contain no remarkable stars, have not been described :-- an enumeration of these will suffice.
The Lynx, between Ursa Major and Auriga; Camelopardalus, between Ursa Major and Cassiopeia ; Musca, and the Greater and Less Triangles, between Aries and Perseus; Equuleus, close to the head of Pegasus; Sagittarius, setting in the S. W.; Antinoüs, and Sobieski's Shield, below Aquila ; the Fox and the Goose, between Aquila and Cygnus; the Greyhounds, Charles's Heart, and Berenice's Hair, between Bootes and Ursa Major; and Leo Minor, below Ursa Major.
The time of any star's passing the meridian on any day is 4 minutes earlier than it was on the preceding day; by making that allowance, the above view of the heavens will answer for September 6th, about 10 o'clock ; September 21st, about 9 o'clock; or October 21st, about 7 o'clock in the evening.
2. Point out the situation of the stars, for the latitude of Newcastle, on January 1, at 8 o'clock in the evening.
* The young zoologist may object to the length of the tail of this constellation, as well as of Ursa Minor. The following colloquy, from a writer of the 16th century, will amuse if it do not instruct him :-“ Scholar. I marvell why, seeing she (Ursa Major) hath the forme of a beare, her taile should be so long. Master. Imagine that Jupiter, fearing to come too nigh unto her teeth, layde on her tayle, and thereby drewe her up into the heaven, so that shee 'of herselfe being very weightie, and the distance from the earth to the heavens very great, there was great likelihood that her taile must stretch."