Archive for June 26, 2014

06/26/2014 – Ephemeris – Draco the dragon is twisted around the pole of the sky

June 26, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 26th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:31, the latest sunset.   The moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:32 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:59.

High in the northern sky at 11 p.m. lies the twisted constellation, that of Draco the dragon.  This dragon is more like the snakelike Chinese dragon than the dinosaur like dragon of European legend.  I find it better to start at the tail of Draco, to trace him out in the stars.  Draco’s tail starts between the bowl of the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper.  The Dragon is seen in a line of stars that extends parallel to the handle of the Big Dipper before curving around the bowl of the Little Dipper then bends back toward the south.  The head of Draco is an odd box of stars near the bright star Vega, high in the east.  Though not made up of very bright stars, Draco has an easy shape to trace.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


Draco via Stellarium

Draco via Stellarium in approximately the same orientation as the Jamieson atlas below. You’s have to face southeast and bend over backward to see this orientation in the sky.


Draco the Dragon as drawn in Alexander Jamieson’s 1820 Celestial Atlas as printer in Men, Monsters and the Modern Universe by George Lovi and Wil Tirion, 1989, Willmann-Bell, Richmond, VA