Moons page — updated on February 16th, 2017

Monday, July 6, 2015

Equuleus

Equuleus the Foal constellation map imageWhile Draco is one of the largest constellations in the night sky, EQUULEUS the Foal is the second-smallest constellation after Crux the Southern Cross. Like Draco, stargazers barely see this dim Northern Hemisphere constellation. As shown in the Little Astronomy Blog constellation map above, Equuleus is surrounded by three constellations: Aquarius, Delphinus (another small constellation), and Pegasus. Since Pegasus the Winged Horse is found to the left of Equuleus, the Foal is sometimes represented as Pegasus' foal. Several notable yet hard-to-find galaxies exist in Equuleus, including NGC 7015, NGC 7046, and others listed below. WikiSky.org is a comprehensive source for astronomy information and imagery. With its help, I was able to find rare galaxy images of NGC 7015 and NGC 7046. In addition, its interactive cosmic map allowed me to create one of the most detailed constellation maps of Equuleus on the Internet! HD 200964 is a star with at least two planets nearby, while NGC 7045 is a binary star system. Equuleus' brightest star is Kitalpha (Alpha Equulei, α) with an apparent magnitude of about 3.92. According to WolframAlpha (link opens in new tab or window), Equuleus' stars exhibit a rather small range of temperatures, especially compared to stars in constellations like Draco. Heating up at 5,800° Kelvin, Kitalpha has the lowest temperature of Equuleus' main stars, while Beta Equuleus (β) boasts the highest temperature at 8,700° K.

NGC 7015 spiral galaxy in Equuleus NGC 7046 spiral galaxy in Equuleus

Brightest Star: Kitalpha ("part of the horse"; Alpha Equulei)
Double Star: NGC 7045
Star with Planets: HD 200964 in southeastern Equuleus
Galaxies: NGC 7015 (spiral), NGC 7040 (spiral), NGC 7046 (spiral), PGC 1239694 (immediately northwest of NGC 7046), and PGC 214759 (immediately west of NGC 7015)

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage: Hubblesite.org/categories/images.

— 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