Draco


Draco


English nameDragon

Major
stars
beta DraconisRastabanmagn. 3,0RA: 17h 30m 25.96sDec: +52 18' 05.0"
gamma DraconisEltaninmagn. 2,4RA: 17h 56m 36.38sDec: +51 29' 20.3"
delta DraconisAltaismagn. 3,2RA: 19h 12m 33.25sDec: +67 39' 41.4"
zeta Draconismagn. 3,2RA: 17h 08m 47.23sDec: +65 42' 52.7"
eta Draconismagn. 2,9RA: 16h 23m 59.49sDec: +61 30' 51.1"
iota DraconisEdasichmagn. 3,5RA: 15h 24m 55.76sDec: +58 57' 57.7"

DescriptionBig circumpolar constellation, Draco stretches between Cepheus and Hercules, and then it passes between Ursa Maior and Ursa Minor.

Even though it is the eighth constellation in order of dimensions, it doesn't contain any particularly bright stars. Interesting are only some double stars: ny Draconis, formed by two white stars of fifth magnitude; omicron Draconis, a yellow giant accompanied by a blue star; and xi Draconis, a couple of yellow stars.

NGC 6543With modest telescopes, then, it is possible to observe a beautiful planetary nebula, NGC 6543, callad Cat's Eye Nebula because of its similarity with a feline eye: seen with small instruments it appears as a bluish, slightly out-of-focus disk, while all its beauty appears in the long-exposured photos.


Mythology
and history
The constellation represents the snake Ladon, which Hera, Zeus' wife, put to keep guard over her golden apples in the Hesperides garden. It was killed by Hercules during his eleventh labour.


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