The Constellation of the Unicorn and its legend


Looking at the dark sky and fantasizing, moreMillennia ago, people recognized in the stars the silhouettes of animals and gave them names. The constellation of the Unicorn is considered "young," located in the Southern Hemisphere. It contains 146 stars and covers an area of ​​481.6 square degrees in the sky. Located in the Milky Way. The location of the constellation is located inside the winter triangle formed by the stars Betelgeuse, Procyon and Sirius, by which it can be found.

constellation of the unicorn in the sky
The unicorn is a constellation through which the line of the celestial equator runs, and it is one of the fifteen similar ones.

Search in the sky

It is easy enough to discover the constellation of the Unicornin the sky, his pale stars are better seen in a bright moonless night, far from the sources of strong light. "Neighborhood" of the Unicorn are considered to be one of the most beautiful constellations of the entire sky. From the east and south, the Unicorn borders on Small and Great Dogs. Their bright stars Sirius and Procyon are difficult to confuse with any other. In the north, it's Gemini - Pollux and Castor. In the west, Orion with its bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel.

constellation of unicorn
Many people are interested in the question, when is it better to observe the constellation of the Unicorn? It is perfectly visible in most of Russia. Optimal conditions for observations - in February.


Characteristic figures formed in the firmamentbright stars, in ancient times it was customary to call constellations. With their birth, beautiful legends were connected. One of the most interesting is the constellation of the Unicorn. The legend speaks of the devotion and fearlessness of this mythical one-horned stallion.

constellation unicorn legend
The Chukchi people have a legend abouthunter, who in the forest was found a sick deer. The hunter's daughter took care of him and treated him. He grew up a strong and healthy deer. Soon the hunter's house was in trouble: his daughter became very ill, and the hope to save the girl was extinguished with every minute. Then the deer threw itself into a gaping chasm from a high cliff, and at the same time a new constellation caught fire in the sky. Nowadays the Unicorn is called, consisting of bright stars. These stars merged into one, blinding with their radiance a bright beam that was aimed at the hunter's house. Thanks to this, the daughter of the trapper recovered, and on the horizon, as the legend says, that very night a constellation of the Unicorn appeared - the image of a faithful deer.

The discovery of the constellation

The constellation Unicorn was discovered in the XVII centurythe Dutchman Peter Platzius. But the astronomer Jacob Barcius first published a drawing of the constellation of the Unicorn in 1624 (borrowed from Atlas by Peter Platzius). Polish astronomer Jan Gaveliy proposed the name Monoceros, since the constellation Unicornio was originally called. He gave the constellation this name because the mythical animal appeared in the Bible more than once. The constellation of the Unicorn (pictured below) on old-time star charts and looks quite curious.

constellation unicorn pictures

Constellation objects

The constellation of the Unicorn is attractively bright starAlpha with a star apparent magnitude of 3.93. From the constellation to the Earth, the distance is 144 light years. The second place is the Gamma star, whose star magnitude is 3.98. A star called Beta unites three objects arranged in a fixed triangle. According to the German astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel, who first discovered the star system, - this is one of the most beautiful and noteworthy systems.

Let's look at the next star in the constellationThe Unicorn. Epsilon is a pair star, changing its color depending on the observation time from purple to gold. The color of the largest star is white and blue, and her companion is yellow. Without a telescope, a double star can not be seen.

Plasquette is also a double star, a hundred timeslarger than the Sun and it can also be seen through a telescope. This is the most famous system in science, it is a pair of giant giant stars that rotate a huge distance apart. The distance from them to the Sun is about 5000 light years.

when it is better to observe the constellation unicorn

In the constellation of the Unicorn, other objects were identified

The Rosette Nebula is one of the popularemission nebulae in the sky - NGC2237. The distance to the cluster is about 5200 light years. It is an area of ​​ionized hydrogen, in which star formation processes occur. The visible magnitude of the cluster is 4.8 m.

In NGC2264 there are clusters of interesting stars - Snowflake and Christmas Tree. Also here there are the foxes of Lysias Meh and Conus, located at a distance from us about 2600 light-years away.

The Christmas tree is a nebula that looks likea cone of great length, it is a dust cloud in structure. In form this cluster, consisting of about 40 stars and looks like a tree. Young stars in a cloud of dense dust in the Snowflake cluster were placed in the form of a beautiful crystal structure.

Lysias Fur is a nebula colored in a bright red color. Something like a fur cloak. There are some areas with gas and dust.

Star Clusters

In the center of NGC2264 is the star S, whichforms a multi-star system with a dwarf of blue and white. Contains a few soft cosmic objects. It consists of a pair star with a huge mass and a primary component.

Monsieur 50 (NGC2323) - is a star cluster. And resembles a human heart. It is about 3000 light years away from us.

From time immemorial, the infinite cosmos was of great interest to man. The main object of research and observation were and remain stars as the most vivid and mysterious formations.

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