Mon Apr 3, 2017 PLACES IN THE SKY: APRIL

Apr 3, 2017

Can you identify the thirtieth largest constellation in the sky? It is bordered on the north by Lynx the Bobcat and Auriga the Charioteer; on the east by Cancer the Crab; on the south by Canis Minor the Lesser Dog and Monoceros the Unicorn; and on the west by Orion the Hunter and Taurus the Bull. This constellation was created thousands of years ago, and its brightest stars seem to trace out a long rectangle in the heavens. In the Middle East, these stars were seen as a stack of bricks, but in Italy, they  represented Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The Greeks named them Castor and Pollux, which are also the names of this constellation’s two brightest stars, and tonight the first quarter moon lies at the feet of these twin brothers. Can you name this star pattern, the third constellation of the zodiac? It is of course, the Gemini, visible in the southern sky after sunset.