© Reeth Informal Astronomy Group unless otherwise indicated
covering the Northern Yorkshire Dales
Hercules : Constellation of the Month for June 2019
Hercules is a summer constellation, which can be located by looking for the rectangle formed by the middle four stars. Look for it high in the sky to the South between the two very bright stars Arcturus high to your right and Vega very high to your left. The stars forming the rectangle aren’t especially bright, so in June you will need to wait until very late in the Evening to see them. When you have found it, look slightly to the left and you will be looking in the direction of the “Solar Apex” – which is the direction the whole solar system is moving in its orbit around our galaxy. The Sun, the Earth and all the other planets
are moving in that direction at an estimated 200 kilometres per second. If you have binoculars or a telescope look for the M13 globular star cluster 2/3 the way up the right hand side of the rectangle. This is a compact ball of hundreds of thousands of stars some 22,000 light years away. Medium size telescopes (6 inches diameter and up) will show you some of the individual stars. Absolutely stunning if you are lucky enough to have an 8 inch or bigger telescope, see below.