August Stargazing

Astronomers sometimes use mnemonic devices (simple memory aids) to help in remembering the names of celestial objects.

One of the best known astronomy mnemonics is "Arc to Arcturus, then drive a spike to Spica."

Begin by finding the Big Dipper, one of the sky’s most prominent asterisms (star patterns). If you extend the arc formed by the Dipper’s handle, you'll soon find yourself at the bright star Arcturus, in the constellation Boötes.

From there, it’s a straight line to Spica, the brightest star in Virgo. Can you see the color difference between yellowish Arcturus and blue-white Spica?

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