|Right ascension||09 h 22 m 28 s to 20 h 54 m 49 s|
|declination||+ 47 ° 32 ′ 51 ″ to + 86 ° 27 ′ 56 ″|
|Completely visible||90 ° N to 1 ° S|
|Observation time for Central Europe||All year round|
|Number of stars brighter than 3 mag||3|
|Brightest star (size)||Etamine (2.23)|
clockwise from north )
Draco is a very extensive constellation whose area borders on eight other constellations. The long train of stars of the dragon winds around the Little Bear (Ursa Minor), spanning almost half of the circumpolar sky. The head facing Hercules is represented by four stars, with β ( Alwaid , yellow-green) and γ ( Etamin , red) as the different colored eyes. In the area of the tail, the constellation extends between the Little and the Big Bear (Ursa Maior) to the constellation Giraffe (Camelopardalis) near today's celestial north pole. Five thousand years ago, the earth's axis showed the pole of the northern sky near the star α ( Thuban ); this may be the case again in around twenty thousand years.
On the other hand, the northern ecliptic pole , around which the celestial north pole wanders once in almost 26,000 years as an extension of the earth's axis due to the precession , is located in the front turn of the star formation, the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) .
The dragon is one of the classic 48 constellations of antiquity mentioned by Ptolemy . In ancient Greek astronomy , the constellation of the dragon also included the little bear's train of stars, which was perceived as the dragon's wing.
Due to the precession movement of the earth, the main star Thuban (α Draconis) was the polar star of the northern sky 5000 years ago. The closest distance to the exact celestial pole was around 2830 BC. Reached with 10 arc minutes .
There are various stories with a mythological background about this constellation or the figure of a dragon seen in it .
In the Babylonian epic of creation Enūma eliš it is told that Marduk defeated the goddess of salt water Tiamat , depicted as a horned sea serpent, divides her body lengthways, bends one half and thus forms the sky. From the other half of the dragon he creates the earth. In this version, the dragon stretches across the sky with its head and tail diametrically opposite each other.
No dragon-like monster appears in the creation stories of Greek mythology . But in the myths of heroes a dragon has to be overcome. The later city of Thebes can only be founded after Kadmos killed the dragon that lived at this point and sank half of its teeth into the ground. And in the Argonauts legend about Jason , the dragon guarded the Golden Fleece .
In the saga of Heracles it was a question of a hundred-headed dragon, Ladon . Heracles was given the task of stealing the golden apples from the Hesperides , the enjoyment of which promised immortality and eternal youth. The apples were closely guarded by Ladon and the Hesperides. Heracles was finally able to take the apples. According to one version, he is said to have persuaded the titan Atlas to fetch the apples for him - and meanwhile took on the heavy burden of carrying the vault of heaven. According to the other version, Heracles got the apples himself, killing the dragon. Heracles was also immortalized as a constellation. He can be found under the Roman name Hercules near the dragon's head in the sky.
|B.||F.||Names or other designations||Size (mag)||Lj||Spectral class|
|γ||33||Etamin , Ettanin, Eltanin||2.23||150||K5 III|
|η||14th||Aldhibain, Al Dhibain||2.74||80||G8 III|
|β||23||Alwaid , Rastaban, Asuia||2.79||400||G2 II|
|δ||57||Altais , Al Tais, Nodus Secundus||3.07||100||G9 III|
|ζ||22nd||Aldhibah , Nodus I.||3.17||300||B6 III|
|ι||12||Edasich , Ed Asich||3.29||102||K2 III|
|ξ||32||Grumium||3.7||about 110||K2 III|
|ε||63||Epsilon Draconis (Tyl)||3.83||147||G7 + K5|
|λ||1||Giausar , Giaufar, Juza||3.8||approx. 330||M0 III|
|ψ||31||Dsiban||4.27||70||F5 + F9|
|17th||4.5||300||B9 + A1 + B9|
|39||4.8||150||A1 + A5|
|μ||21st||Alrakis , Arrakis||4.92||85||F7 V + F7 V|
|26th||5.23||50||G0 + K3|
|ε||3.9 / 7.3||3.2 "|
|ψ||4.6 / 5.8||30.3 "|
|ν||4.9 / 4.9||61.9 "|
|39||5.0 / 7.8 / 7.2||3.9 "and 89"|
|26th||5.3 / 8.0||1.7 "|
|17th||5.4 / 6.4||3.3 "|
|μ||5.7 / 5.7||1.9 "|
39 Draconis is a multiple star system 150 light years away with three stars orbiting a common center of gravity.
|R.||6.7-13||245.5 days||Mira type|
|T Dra||7.2-13.5||421.2 days||Mira type|
|RY Dra||6.5-8.0||172 days||semi-regularly changeable|
The stars R and T Draconis are pulsation-variable stars of the Mira type . These are bright red giants or supergiants that rhythmically expand and contract again, which can be observed as a clear fluctuation in brightness. During the maximum, R and T become so bright that they can be detected with binoculars. At a minimum, their brightness drops below 13 mag, so that their observation requires a larger telescope.
|Messier (M)||NGC||other||Size (mag)||Type||Surname|
|6543||9||Planetary nebula||Cat's Eye Nebula|
NGC 6543 is a planetary nebula , i.e. a star that at the end of its evolution has repelled the outer gas envelope. In the center there is an extremely hot white dwarf star . NGC 6543 appears in the telescope as a diffuse nebula with a faint star in the center. The complex structure of the nebula that gave it the name Cat's Eye Nebula is only visible in long-exposure photographs. The Hubble telescope provided particularly impressive images of the nebula.
All three galaxies are not very noticeable in the telescope and appear as foggy spots.