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Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Delphinus constellation map
A small yet relatively bright constellation in the night sky, DELPHINUS the Dolphin is mainly a Northern Hemisphere constellation best seen in the summer season. Cygnus the swan, the previous constellation post on The Little Astronomy Blog, is in the same geographic vicinity as Delphinus. Geographically speaking, Delphinus is typically seen northeast of Aquarius the water carrier, west of Aquila the eagle and Sagitta the arrow, south of Cygnus and Vulpecula the fox, east of Equuleus the little horse (foal) and Pegasus the flying horse. The constellation image of Delphinus is comprised of five main stars. The brightest star is Rotanev, shining in the dolphin's torso with an apparent magnitude slightly over 3.60. As written below, Delphinus features multiple deep-sky objects such as nebulae, galaxies, and globular star clusters. One interesting celestial sight in Delphinus is ZW II 96, in which two young galaxies are merging. This and other ZW-designated celestial objects are part of the Zwicky Catalogue of Galaxies.

Brightest Star: Rotanev (Beta Delphini, β)
Second Brightest Star: Sualocin (Alpha Delphini, α)
Interesting Stars: Gamma (γ) Delphini (binary star comprised of a yellow-white dwarf star and an orange subgiant star) and U Delphini (pulsating variable)
Galaxy Merger: ZW II 96
Planetary Nebulae: NGC 6891 (NASA APOD image - link opens in new window/tab) and NGC 6905 (Blue Flash Nebula)
Globular Star Clusters: NGC 6934 and NGC 7006

Base Map derived from Planetarium (software), version 1.8 (© 1998 JC Research, Toxsoft).

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage:

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula