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Follow the arc (of the handle of the Big Dipper) to Arcturus and speed on to Spica. Arcturus is the brightest star in Bootes (the kite-shaped constellation). Once you find bright Spica, you have Virgo. "Virgo the Maiden" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183332.asp

When you're outside at night right now, look up and try to find this! Shining prominently from March through May is the Spring Triangle: Arcturus is part of the kite-shaped constellation Bootes, Denebola is the tail of the constellation Leo, and Spica is in the constellation Virgo. #ILoveAstronomy

Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the sky in the constellation Bootes. Its an orange giant star which is cooler than our Sun, but radiates much of its energy in the infrared spectrum. It's also much larger with about 25 times the diameter. To find it in the sky, follow the arc of the handle of the big dipper.


Virgo. Taken from New Mexico, March 2013. (Image credit: Alan Dyer) "Virgo the Maiden" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183332.asp

Virgo. Shown with wheat sheaf in left hand (Spica) and palm frond in right hand. (From 19th century Urania's Mirror.) "Virgo the Maiden" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183332.asp

The bright stars Vega in the constellation Lyra and Arcturus in the constellation Bootes are located on either side of Hercules.

Using the Big Dipper to find Polaris. If you follow the line of the two outer stars of the bowl, the next bright star is Polaris in Ursa Minor. Mona Evans, "Absolute Beginners - Start Observing" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19759.asp

Arcturus, in the constellation Bootes, is the brightest star north of the celestial equator. The three brightest stars of the sky – Sirius, Canopus and Alpha Centauri – are south of the celestial equator. Arcturus is only marginally brighter than the northern hemisphere’s second-brightest star, Vega.

A horse flies through the sky on feathered wings in late summer and early fall. This celestial horse is the mythical steed Pegasus - although you will find only its front half in the sky, as its hind quarters are cut off where the neighboring figure of Andromeda begins. (drawing: Bruno Tomba) ©Mona Evans,"Pegasus the Winged Horse" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art24050.asp

The constellation Orion photographed from orbit. [Credit: Karen Nyberg (NASA)] Wow! This is an unusual view of Orion. Mona Evans, "Orion the Hunter" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19756.asp

Aquarius. (Photo: Bill & Sally Fletcher) This constellation’s most distinctive feature is a trefoil-shaped group of four stars (in the center of the picture) that marks the water carrier’s jar. From the jar, a stream of faint stars cascades down towards bright Fomalhaut. Mona Evans, "Absolute Beginners - Autumn Skies" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art27364.asp

The Big Dipper is part of Ursa Major, the celestial Great Bear. Ursa Major is a constellation. The Big Dipper (the Plough in Britain) is an asterism. (Image via storybookipedia) Mona Evans, "Asterism or Constellation?" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art180464.asp

Meet Regulus, brightest star in Leo the Lion.

Take this sky tour infographic with you and the next time you are out camping take a few minutes to conduct a tour of the circumpolar constellations. You’ll be able to show your Scouts two methods of finding the north star and how to identify the constellations along with some astronomy facts and folklore.

Orion. Seven bright stars form the body of Orion, making it visible even in a city. They are labeled in green in this image. The three evenly-spaced stars of the "belt" are easy to pick out in the sky. So are two very bright stars whose colors are distinct. Rigel is a blue supergiant which forms the hunter's left foot and Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, is his right shoulder.(Image: R. Gendler and S. Guisard). ©Mona Evans, "Orion the Hunter" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19756.asp

Finding Algol in fall and winter sky is easy. This map shows the sky facing northeast around 7 p.m. local time. Locate the bright star Capella in Auriga and the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster then form a triangle with Perseus' brightest star Mirfak. Algol is the next brightest star a few degrees to the right or south of Mirfak. Source: Stellarium

Capella (α Aurigae, α Aur, Alpha Aurigae, Alpha Aur) is the brightest star in the constellation Auriga, the eleventh brightest star in the night sky and the third brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus and Vega.

Cancer the crab. This is an unaided-eye view of Cancer low in the sky. The two bright stars are Gemini's Castor and Pollux. It's difficult to pick out the Y of Cancer. The next pin shows the dots joined. Or if you click on the image, a mouseover will show it. Mona Evans, "Cancer the Crab" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art300306.asp

Centaurus. A large, bright southern hemisphere constellations. Its two brightest stars, Rigil Kent and Hadar, are pointer stars for the Southern Cross (Crux). Mona Evans, "Centaurus the Centaur" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art181491.asp

Simple Constellations