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Founded in 1955, Houston Astronomical Society is an active community of enthusiastic amateur and professional astronomers with over 60 years of history in the Houston area. Through education and outreach, our programs promote science literacy and astronomy awareness. We meet on the first Friday of each month at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center. Membership has a variety of benefits, including access to a secure dark site west of Houston, a telescope loaner program, and much more. Joining is simple; you can sign up online, by mail or in person at a monthly meeting.

Asterisms – Giraffe

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 5/15/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
Constellation: Bootes
Right Ascension:  14h 31m 29.0s
Declination: +49o 11’ 16”
Magnitude: 7 to 12         
Size: 25 minutes        
This month’s asterism adds to the list of “animals” as seen in the sky. Houston Astronomical Society member Karla Zielke named the Giraffe asterism. She saw this while observing at the Texas Star Party.


It is located near the border between Bootes and Ursa Major.





The Giraffe can be located at the “top” of a triangle made up of Alkaid η Ursa Major (the end star in the handle of the Big Dipper) and star Nekkar  β Bootes.


It can also be located near NGC 5676.



In a low power eyepiece, you can see the asterism. The bright star at lower left of center is the head, with the front legs being the curve of stars going to the upper right. The hind legs are the triangle of stars to the lower right.


In the same field of view NGC 5676 can be seen.


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