Constellation of the Month: Lynx.
by Mark S Deprest
Printed in Reflections: April, 2001.
is credited with the creation of this constellation saying that anyone
wishing to study the stars in this area would need the eyes of a Lynx.
is another more romantic story about Lynx, which I kind of like.
Pluto (God of the Underworld) and Proserpina, daughter of Ceres (Goddess
of Agriculture). As it turns out Ceres cause a great blight to kill all
of the grains and lay the earth barren until Pluto returned her daughter
Proserpina. Of course by this time Proserpina was already the queen of
the Underworld and could not be returned to her mother. Zeus finally
in and decreed that for six months Proserpina would live in the Underworld
(winter, the season when nothing grows) and then for six months she would
live in the Upperworld (summer, the season when crops grow and mature).
This placated Ceres rage and sorrows enough for her to send a messenger
in her dragon-drawn Chariot to rain seeds of harvest across the Earth.
When her messenger came close to Scythia, reigned by the jealous and envious
King Lyncus, a plot to kill this messenger and take the credit for the
good harvest was contrived by Lyncus. But, just a the fowl deed was about
to happen, Ceres changed Lyncus into a Lynx and placed him in the sky where
the stars were so dim that nobody could see him, unless “you had the eyes
of a lynx.” I like this last story best, but most scholars recognize
as Lynx creator.
Transit at Midnight of Alpha Lyncis: February 14th
constellation runs sort of diagonally from its southeastern corner at 9
hours 23 minutes Right Ascension and north 33 degrees Declination to its
northwestern corner at 6 hours 18 minutes R.A. and north 62 degrees
Working clockwise, Lynx is bordered by Camelopardalis to the north, Auriga
to the west, Gemini and Cancer to the south, followed by Leo Minor and
Ursa Major to the east. The brightest stars in Lynx are Alpha Lyncis, a
K5 spectral class 3.13 magnitude star, 31 Lyncis; Alsciaukat a 4.24 mag.
K5 spec. and 38 Lyncis a 3.93 mag. A2 spec. The remaining
stars that make
up Lynx are a dim 4.50 to 5.50 magnitude and only dark clear skies will
make them comfortably visible with the naked eye.
Things to Check Out in Lynx:
Multiple Star Systems
12 Lyncis; STF948; ADS 5400
- RA (J2000): 06 46 14.15 declination: +59 26 30.1
- Included in the Astronomical
League’s certificate list of 100 double stars. Visual binary star.
in Michael R. Feltz’s list of the widest visual binaries. Orbital
and diagram available on Richard Dibon-Smith’s website (http://www.dibonsmith.com).
A: magnitude +5.4 spectral type A3V
- Component B: magnitude +6.0 spectral
- Component C: magnitude +7.3 spectral type ??
- Separation AB: 1.8
” at position angle 101
- Separation AC: 8.7 ” at position angle 308
observed by Struve in 1828. Described by Muirden (1988) as “a beautiful
triple, A appearing slightly yellowish.”
- Distance: 230 light-years
orbital separation: 120 AU between A and B; 610 AU between A and C
(Sun =1): A 28 B 16 C ??
- Diameter (Sun =1): A 2.3 B 1.7 C ??
STF1062; ADS 6012
- RA (J2000): 07 22 52.06 declination: +55 16 53.3
in the Astronomical League’s certificate list of 100 double stars.
show no relative motion. Some observers report the companion to purplish
and others say it appears green, let me know what you see.
- Component A:
magnitude +5.6 spectral type B8V Spectroscopic binary
- Component C: magnitude
+6.5 spectral type B9V
- Separation AC: 14.8” at position angle 315
470 light-years (approx)
- Projected orbital separation: 2100 AU
(Sun =1): A 100 B 43
- Diameter (Sun =1): A 2.3 B 1.9
38 Lyncis; STF1334;
- RA (J2000): 09 18 50.67 declination: +36 48 10.4
- Included in the
Astronomical League’s certificate list of 100 double stars. Visual binary
- Component A: magnitude +3.9 spectral type A3V Spectroscopic binary
C: magnitude +6.6 spectral type ?A3V
- Separation AC: 2.7 ” at position angle
- Stars AB and C are sometimes said to look green and blue respectively,
although Muirden (1988) says emphatically of A and B that “the primary
- Distance: 122 light-years
- Projected orbital separation: 100
- Luminosity (Sun =1): AB 32 C 2.7
- Diameter (Sun =1): AB 2.4 C 0.7
is an 11th magnitude fourth component at 88” in PA 212.
Deep Sky Objects
2683; Spiral galaxy
- J2000 RA: 08h52.7m dec: +33 25’
- Magnitude 10.4
- Very bright, very large, very much extended, 39deg, gradually
much brighter middle.
- Comments from SAC (Saguaro Astronomy Club) 6.0 database:
PA 44, peanut-shaped bulge, many filaments arm with dark lanes on 1 side
angular diameter 9.2’x2’.
- Inclination (1=face on, 5=edge on): 3
NGC 2419; Caldwell 25; Globular Cluster
- J2000 RA: 07h38.1m
dec: +38 53’
- Magnitude: 10.4
- Pretty bright, pretty large, little extended,
90deg, very gradually brighter middle, star of mag 7th or 8th
at 267 degrees and 4’ distance.
- Most distant globular.
- Brightest star 17 mag.
R Lyncis; Mira-type
- Right ascension: 07h01m18.0s
Declination: +55 19’ 50”
- Period of 387.75 days.
- Maximum magnitude: 7.2
- Minimum magnitude: 14.3
- In 2001 it should reach its maximum in late April
or early May.
- According to Richard Dibon-Smith this star is unusual in
that it belongs to a small group of long-period variables with a “S”
Which is a ‘cool red giant’ that shows the presence of zirconium oxide.
All Images on this page were downloaded from the Sloan
Digital Sky Survey.
Copyright © 2013, the University Lowbrow Astronomers. (The University Lowbrow Astronomers are an amateur astronomy club based in Ann Arbor, Michigan).
This page originally appeared in Reflections of the University Lowbrow Astronomers (the club newsletter).
This page revised Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:30 PM.
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