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Auriga (abbreviation: Aur, genitive: Aurigae)





The Charioteer (possibly Erechthonius, son of Vulcan); among the brightest northern constellations, it lies midway between Perseus and Ursa Major in a region crossed by the Milky Way, and is the site of the galactic anticenter (the point in the sky diametrically opposite the center of the Galaxy). Gamma Aur, or El Nath, is shared with Taurus and is universally referred nowadays as Beta Tau.Epsilon Aurigae and Zeta Aurigae are remarkable eclipsing binaries. Together with Eta Aur, they make up the so-called Kids, an asterism which lies just to the south and slightly ahead of Capella (whose name means the "She-Goat"). The most northerly of the trio, Epsilon, is a late addition; in antiquity Zeta and Eta were known respectively as "the western kid" and "the eastern kid." See below for details of the constellation's brightest stars and interesting deep sky objects.


Auriga constellation
Auriga. © 2003 Torsten Bronger.
Copied here under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License



Stars brighter than magnitude 4.0
Star Visual
mag.
Abs.
mag.
Spectral
type
Distance
(lt-yr)
R.A. (h m s) Dec. ( ° ' '' )
Alpha (Capella) 0.08 -0.48 G5IIIe+G0III 42 05 16 41 +45 59 53
Beta (Menkalinan) 1.90 -0.11 A2IV 82 05 59 32 +44 56 51
Theta 2.65 -0.98 A0IIIpSi+G2V 173 05 59 43 +37 12 45
Iota (Hassaleh) 2.69 -3.29 K3II 512 04 57 00 +33 09 58
Epsilon Aurigae 3.03v -5.95 F0Iae 2,040 05 01 58 +43 49 24
Eta 3.18 -0.96 B3V 219 05 06 31 +41 14 04
Delta 3.72 0.55 K0III 141 05 59 32 +54 17 05
Zeta Aurigae 3.69v -3.23 K4II+B8V 789 05 02 29 +41 04 33


Other objects of interest
Name Type of Object Notes
AE Aur star See also runaway star
RT Aur star A Cepheid variable; magnitude range 5.4 to 6.6, period 3.7 days
T Aur star Nova 1882; reached magnitude 4.1, now at 15.8. Discovered by the Scottish amateur astronomer, T. D. Anderson
Flaming Star Nebula diffuse nebula IC 405. See separate entry
IC 410 diffuse nebula Resembles the Rosette Nebula, with a small embedded open cluster, NGC 1893, and a dark patch of obscuring dust at its center. R.A. 05h 22m, Dec. +33° 27'
M36 (NGC 1960) open cluster About 60 stars. Magnitude 6.3; diameter 12'; R.A. 05h 32m, Dec. +34° 7'
M37 (NGC 2099) open cluster About 500 stars, some 150 of which shine at magnitude 12.5 or brighter. Magnitude 6.2; diameter 20'; R.A. 05h 49m, Dec. +32° 32'
M38 (NGC 1912) open cluster A cruciform-shaped cluster, located near both the Flaming Star and IC 410. Magnitude 7.4; diameter 20'; R.A. 05h 25m, Dec. +35° 48'


Constellations
Andromeda | Antlia | Apus | Aquarius | Aquila | Ara | Aries | Auriga | Bootes | Caelum | Camelopardalis | Cancer | Canes Venatici | Canis Major | Canis Minor | Capricornus | Carina | Cassiopeia | Centaurus | Cepheus | Cetus | Chamaeleon | Circinus | Columba | Coma Berenices | Corona Austrina | Corona Borealis | Corvus | Crater | Crux | Cygnus | Delphinus | Dorado | Draco | Equuleus | Eridanus | Fornax | Gemini | Grus | Hercules | Horologium | Hydra | Hydrus | Indus | Lacerta | Leo | Leo Minor | Lepus | Libra | Lupus | Lynx | Lyra | Mensa | Microscopium | Monoceros | Musca | Norma | Octans | Ophiuchus | Orion | Pavo | Pegasus | Perseus | Phoenix | Pictor | Pisces | Piscis Austrinus | Puppis | Pyxis | Reticulum | Sagitta | Sagittarius | Scorpius | Sculptor | Scutum | Serpens | Sextans | Taurus | Telescopium | Triangulum | Triangulum Australe | Tucana | Ursa Major | Ursa Minor | Vela | Virgo | Volans | Vulpecula


Related categories

   • NOTABLE STARS
   • NEBULAE AND STAR CLUSTERS
   • GALAXIES