β Camelopardalis (HIP number 23522)
Several galaxies, an open cluster of stars, a planetary nebula
The giraffe (lat. Camelopardalis) is an extensive and yet inconspicuous constellation of the northern sky. Although it does not have particularly bright stars, it does have some interesting deep sky objects.
Hemisphere, visibility and area
The giraffe is located in the Northern Hemisphere and is circumpolar in Central Europe. So it can be observed all year round.
It stretches across the night sky at 757 square degrees. This puts it in 18th place compared to all other 88 constellations.
Although it belongs to the larger constellations with its area, it is quite inconspicuous. In particular, this is due to the fact that none of the stars is brighter than the fourth magnitude class.
The brightest star in the giraffe is the β Camelopardalis (β Cam for short). Its apparent magnitude is given as about 4.03 mag. It is a yellowish supergiant at a distance of about 840 light-years.
The constellation Giraffe is located in the middle between the striking constellations Cassiopeia, Perseus, Carter, Little Bear and Big Bear. The constellation Giraffe ranges from the constellation Perseus to the constellation Little Bear. It is circumpolar and covers an area of 757 square degrees in the sky. This makes it about the same size as the Cassiopeia or the carter in terms of area. However, it is so inconspicuous that one does not perceive it. What he lacks are bright stars.
History and mythology
Astronomers in classical Greece did not pay attention to the area of the sky between the constellations Cassiopeia, Perseus, Carter, Little Bear and Big Bear. The inconspicuous asterisks that they saw there on clear nights did not inspire them to a constellation. Just like the Greeks, the Romans also left this piece of sky to the left of the constellation Cassiopeia, and so this area of the sky remained unnoticed until the beginning of modern times.
After the telescope was invented, the new device was occasionally used in the sky. To the amazement of the observers at that time, one could see many more stars with the telescope than without, but only had a narrow field of view available. If you wanted to find your way around the sky successfully with this new device, you needed detailed star maps. The manufacturers of these star maps noticed the “empty piece of sky” to the left of the constellation Cassiopeia disturbing now.
Is Camelopardalis in the Milky Way?
When can you see Camelopardalis?
What is special about Camelopardalis?
What stars make up Camelopardalis?