ObservingUrsa Major(Great Bear) • Presentation to MAS • Feb 4, 2010 • Ben Huset What’s ‘different’ with Hevelius’s Picture? And Why?
What I See Today Darn light pollution!
Constellation Lore • According to Greek mythology one day Zeus saw a beautiful girl, the nymph Callisto, and fell in love with her. Callisto was the daughter of Lyaon, king of Arcadia She was one of the virgin followers of the virgin goddess Diana, the huntress. So Zeus took the form of Diana to approach Callisto and managed it to make love to her.
When Diana and all her virgin nymphs took a bath together she saw Callisto was no longer a virgin, she was obviously pregnant. She send Callisto away.
Even worse, when Hera, the wife of Zeus, heard about Callisto and her now born son Arkas she become terribly jealous. In her anger she turned her into a bear.
Years later Callisto, still a bear, met her son Arkas walking in the woods, He of course didn’t recognize her. In his fear Arkas tried to kill the bear, but Zeus interceded, turned Arkas into a bear too and placed them between the stars and made them two neighboring constellations.
When Hera saw Callisto glittering with the stars she furiously went down to the ocean to meet Thethys and Oceanos. She told them her story and asked a favor: that the bears never ever be able to reach the water. And indeed, in the northern hemisphere, the constellation of the Great Bear never touches the ocean.
Precession to the Rescue The stars of Ursa Major were all circumpolar in Athens of 400 BCE, and all but the stars in the Great Bear's left foot were circumpolar in Ovid's Rome, in the first century CE. Now, however, due to the precession, the feet of the Great Bear constellation do sink below the horizon as seen from Rome and Athens — so Ursa Major gets to cool her feet and legs in the sea; however, Ursa Minor (Arcas) does remain completely above the horizon.
What’s There to See? M 40> _____ Charles Messier
M101NGC 5457 – Pinwheel GalaxyDistance: 27,000 KLYApparent Magnitude 7.9 Right Ascension 14:03.2Declination : +54 21”
M 40> _____
M51NGC 5194,5 – Whirlpool GalaxyDistance: 37,000 KLYApparent Magnitude 8.4 Right Ascension 13:29.9Declination : +47 12” (Actually in Canes Venatici)
M 40> _____ XX
M40WNC 4Distance: 0.51 KLYApparent Magnitude 8.4 Right Ascension 12:22.4Declination : +58 05”
M 40> _____
M109NGC 3992Distance: 55,000 KLYApparent Magnitude 9.8 Right Ascension 11:57.6Declination : +53 23”
M 40> _____ XX XX
M97NGC 3587 Owl NebulaDistance: 2.6 KLYApparent Magnitude 9.9 Right Ascension 11:14.8Declination : +55 01”
M 40> _____ XX XX
M108NGC 3556Distance: 45,000 KLYApparent Magnitude 10.0 Right Ascension 11:11.5Declination : +55 40”
M81NGC 3031 Bode’s GalaxyDistance: 12,000 KLYApparent Magnitude 6.9 Right Ascension 09:55.6Declination : +69 04”
M82NGC 3034 Cigar GalaxyDistance: 12,000 KLYApparent Magnitude 8.4 Right Ascension 09:55.8Declination : +69 41”
In Art & Culture Alaska’s State Flag
Starry Night Over the Rhone Vincent van Gogh
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