Arcturus

Last night, looking west through some tree branches, I took this picture of the orange star, Arcturus. It is one of the five brightest stars in the night sky and is part of the constellation Bootes. It is in fact the brightest star in the northern half of the celestial sphere.

It is navigationally interesting because of its declination or ‘celestial latitude’. At 19 degrees north it passes overhead a lot of major cities, including Honolulu, Mumbai and Mexico City.

The easiest way to find Arcturus is to follow the the handle of the Plough on its curved path away from the ‘saucepan’. The star that can just be seen in the top right of the photo is the end of the saucepan handle.

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