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    Would you Like to See a Dragon in the Sky?

    By travel
    7/06/2012, 2:45:29 AM

    First of all, this blog and the image below are courtesy of a favorite astronomy site of mine, EarthSky.org. This site is downright terrific and was the inspiration for this blog, and it has graciously allowed me to use many skymaps in previous posts as well as this one. This site is an absolutely fantastic source for all sorts of information about the field of science in general. I suggest and plead that you browse the site.

    Draco, the dragon, is found in a grouping of stars that also includes the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, the Summer Triangle and, of course, probably the most famous star in the sky, Polaris, the North Star.

    Anyways, summer nights are the best time of year to see the Dragon. You want to face north and look high overhead. If you know where the North Star is you can use it as a guide of where to start.

    Using Polaris, now use the skymap below to find the dragon.


    350x350_07061125_11july27_430

    A few neat facts about Draco: Draco is a circumpolar constellation as seen from northerly latitudes, which means that it circles around and around the North Star, Polaris.

    A star in Draco is Thuban, which is high in the sky in the evening at this time of year. Thuban is an interesting star because it used to be "THE North Star" in 3,000 BC.

    This constellation has been associated with a dragon in many different cultures that have no relation at all. So this begs the question....how did they all think that this constellation should be associated with a dragon? I mean, does it look that much like a dragon? Or is something else going on?

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    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

    Astronomy blog