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Post Info TOPIC: Delphinus


L

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RE: Delphinus
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Delphinus is a constellation in the northern sky, close to the celestial equator. Its name is Latin for dolphin. It is one of the smaller constellations, ranked 69th in size out of 88. Delphinus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains among the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union.
The two brightest stars of this constellation, Svalocin (Alpha Delphini) and Rotanev (Beta Delphini), are not, as one might expect, names dating from antiquity, but instead date from a star catalogue of 1814 that was published at the Palermo Observatory in Italy. When read backwards they form the name Nicolaus Venator which is the Latinized version of the name of the assistant director of that observatory at that time, Niccolò Cacciatore (both Cacciatore and Venator mean hunter).

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Google earth file: Delphinus.kmz (5kb, kmz)



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L

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One of the smallest constellations is reaching its highest point in the southern sky at around midnight local daylight time this week: Delphinus, the Dolphin. It certainly attracted the attention of ancient watchers of the sky, for despite its tiny size and the fact that it only consists of faint stars, they're very closely spaced and easily seen on dark, clear nights.
Here you will find a small diamond with perhaps one or two stars below it. There is something especially cute about it, positioned out in the dark just east of the bright summer Milky Way.
Some reference books refer to the diamond as "Job's Coffin" though the origin of this name is unknown. Two stars in the Delphinus diamond have rather odd names: Sualocin (Alpha Delphini) and Rotanev (Beta Delphini).

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