Draco

Not Malfoy...It's the constellation

Draco Background & Location

Draco is a constellation in the far Northern sky. Its name means "Dragon" in Latin. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by Astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century and remains one of the 88 modern constellations today.


This constellation is circumpolar, which means it can be seen all year round from Northern Latitudes. It revolves around the North Pole and can never be seen in the Southern Hemisphere as it never sits below the horizon. Draco is visible between the latitudes 90 and minus 15 degrees. The constellation is best seen in July at 9 PM local time. It is located close to other constellations including Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Hercules, Cygnus, Cepheus, and Bootes.

Stars & More Within

Stars

Draco's stars are not very bright, but five of them have known planets. The head of the dragon consists of four stars: Beta, Gamma, Nu and Xi Draconis. They are in a trapezoid shape and are located just north of Hercules. Other stars in Draco are Thuban, which forms the tail and many double stars, including Eta Draconis and 20 Draconis. The dragon's body goes through the sky, ending between the Big Dipper and Little Dipper. Shooting stars known as the Draconoids appear to radiate from Draco's head from early to mid-October.
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More Within

Draco has the Cat's eye nebula within Draco (Picture Below). The constellation has many small galaxies, including the Draco Dwarf Galaxy, which is one of the least luminous galaxies and has a diameter of approximately 3,500 light years.
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Myths & Legends

In Greek- Roman Mythology, Draco was a dragon that was one of the creatures that battled the Olympic Gods for 10 years. However, Goddess Minerva killed it and tossed it in the sky upon its defeat. As Minerva threw it, it became twisted on itself and froze on the North Celestial Pole before it could fix itself.


Draco is also represented as the demon son of Gaia, Typhon sometimes.

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Fun Facts

- Draco is one of the only five circumpolar constellations in the Northern Hemisphere.

- Draco is the eighth largest constellation in the sky, covering 1083 square degrees.

- Draconids is the only meteor shower associated with the constellation.

- A United States Cargo Ship was named after the constellation- USS Draco(AK- 79).

- Popular author, J.K Rowling, used Draco as a name for one of her characters in Harry Potter.