SOCO List of Asterisms



In the course of my observations, I sometimes come across groups of stars that are interesting because of their shape. The stars in these asterisms do not have an overall physical relationship like the stars in an open cluster. Still, they are interesting to view. The list below contains asterisms that I have come across that are generally not mentioned in other lists (such as the one available from the Deep Sky Hunters Yahoo Group). All are fairly large and viewable through binoculars or a small telescope.

In viewing the images of the asterisms in the list, the shape is sometimes more easily recognized if you step back a bit from the computer screen to view it.

Positions and magnitudes of stars and estimated sizes of asterisms were extracted from Cartes du Ciel.



 Identifier  Asterism Name  Brightest Star  Location1  # Stars  Size2  Image  Notes
 maas1  Miku's Shimapan  HD197659
 mag. 8.81
 approx. 20  19 × 14 Challenging in 10 × 50 binoculars;
Visible in Plate 49 of Ref. [1];
Three brightest stars and nearby star (HD 197577) share similar proper motions.
 maas2  Draco Dagger  HD169305
 mag. 5.02
 8  38 × 16 Easily seen in 10 × 50 binoculars;
Visible in Plate 12 of Ref. [1].
 maas3  Stick Man  HD157486
 mag. 6.14
 8 to 10  34 × 27 Easily seen in 10 × 50 binoculars;
Visible in Plate 64 of Ref. [1];
Brightest 5 stars form "Mr. Q's Lost Sock" in Ref. [2].


1 Constellation and RA & Dec (J2000) of Brightest Star.
2 Approximate Length × Width or Diameter in Arc-min.


[1] Mellinger, A., and R. Stoyan, Cambridge Photographic Star Atlas, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
[2] List of Asterisms and Possible Open Clusters, Deep Sky Hunters Yahoo Group.



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