Constellations > Bootes

Bootes is a constellation located in the northern hemisphere and is one of the largest constellations in the sky. The name comes from the Greek word “Βοώτης” – plowman, shepherd. It was recorded in the 2nd century by Ptolemy. It contains the third-brightest star Arcturus (inferior to Sirius in Canis Major and Canopus in Carina).

Constellation Bootes

An object Designation Meaning of the name Object type Magnitude
one Arcturus “Guardian of the Bear” Orange giant -0.4
2 Epsilon Bootes (Isar) “Veil” Binary star system 2.37
3 This Bootes (Mufrid) “Remote” Yellow and white subdwarf 2.68
4 Gamma Bootes (Seguin, Seguinus) Unknown Blue giant 3.03
five Delta Bootes No Double star 3.48
6 Beta Bootes (Neckar) “Digger” Yellow and white giant 3.49
7 Sigma Bootes No Yellow and white dwarf 3.52
eight Ro Bootesa No Orange giant 3.58
nine Zeta Bootes No Binary star system 3.78
10 Theta Bootes “The first colt” Blue-white subgiant 4.05
eleven Upsilon Bootes No Orange giant 4.05
12 Lambda Bootes No White dwarf 4.18
13 Mu Bootes (Alcalurops) “Staff” Triple star system 4.31
fourteen Tau Bootes No Binary star system 4.50
fifteen Psi Bootes “Petite” Orange giant 4.52
sixteen Kappa Bootes “The third colt” Blue-white subgiant 4.54
17 Xi Bootesa No Binary star system 4.70
18 Iota Bootes “Second colt” Blue subgiant 4.75
nineteen 38 Bootes “Chained woman” Blue-white subdwarf 5.76

Facts, position and map

The constellation Bootes is the 13th largest constellation with an area of ​​907 square degrees. Located in the third quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ3). It can be found at latitudes between + 90 ° and -50 °. Nearby are the Serpent, Hercules, Dragon, Northern Crown, Veronica’s Hair, Hounds, Virgo and Ursa Major.

Lat. title Boötes
Reduction Boo
Symbol watchman
Right ascension from 13h thirtym up to 15h 45m
Declination from + 8 ° to + 55 ° 30 ‘
Square 907 sq. degrees
(13th place)
The brightest stars
(value <3m)
  • Arcturus (α Boo) – -0.04m
  • Mufrid (η Boo) – 2.68m
  • Itzar (ε Boo) – 2.70m
Meteor showers
  • January Bootids
  • June Bootids
  • Quadrantids
Nearby constellations
  • Hounds Dogs
  • Veronica’s hair
  • Northern Crown
  • The Dragon
  • Hercules
  • Snake
  • Virgo
  • Big Dipper
The constellation is visible in latitudes from + 90 ° to -34 °.
The best time to watch is April – May.

Accommodates 5 stars with planets and is devoid of Messier objects. The brightest star in the constellation is Arcturus, which also ranks third in brightness among all stars. There are three meteor showers: January Bootids, June Bootids, and Quandrantids. Bootes belongs to the Ursa Major group, which also includes Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Lynx, Little Lion, Dragon, Northern Crown, Veronica’s Hair, Giraffe and Hounds. You can see the diagram of the constellation Bootes with its bright stars, objects and neighbors on the map of the starry sky.

Constellation Bootes


Traditionally, the constellation Bootes embodies a youth surrounded by two hunting dogs on a leash and a club. In the sky, he travels for the Big Dipper around the pole. There are several stories that reveal the image of Bootes. It was a plowman who led the oxen along the Big Dipper. His dogs always ran after him: Asterion and Chara (Hounds Dogs). He tied the oxen to the polar axis, thereby keeping the heavens in constant rotation.

Very often, the son of Zeus and Callisto Arkas was seen in his appearance. He was raised by the king of Arcadia Lycaon (grandfather), who once decided to test God and prepared Arkas for his dinner. But Zeus saw through the idea of ​​the king and turned him into a wolf, killed all his sons, and brought his own back to life.

But the history of the constellation does not stop there. Hera (Zeus’s wife) got angry with her husband because of treason and turned Callisto into a bear. She wandered through the woods for years until she came across her son Arkas. He did not recognize his mother and started hunting. Callisto hid in a temple where he could not enter. Zeus decided to help them and sent them to heaven in the form of the Big Dipper and Bootes.

There is another myth associated with Ikarius. He owned vineyards and once called Dionysus to him. God was so surprised that he gave him the secret of winemaking. Ikarios liked the drink so much that he called all his friends. But the next morning, they thought the hangover was an attempt at poisoning. In a fit of rage, they killed the sleeping Ikarios. Dionysus was so saddened that he sent his friend to heaven.

In the last story, Bootes was the man who invented the plow. Ceres sent him to heaven for this.

Main stars

Let’s take a close look at the stars of the constellation Bootes, including a detailed description and characteristics with a photo.

Arcturus (Alpha Bootes) is an orange giant of the K1.5 IIIpe type (an unusual spectrum of light and the presence of emission lines). It is 36.7 light years distant with a luminosity 110 times that of the Sun. Moves at a speed of 122 km / s relative to the solar system. It will approach the Sun at its maximum in about 4000 years.

The third brightest in the sky and brightest in the northern hemisphere. The apparent visual value is -0.04. Sometimes it is shifted to the fourth position after Alpha Centauri, because it is a binary star with a total magnitude of -0.27.

But Arcturus is also the third brightest individual star in the night sky, followed by Alpha Centauri A (the brightest in Centauri and the fourth brightest individual star in the sky). The name in ancient Greek means “guardian of the bear”. Located at the left leg of Bootes, standing next to the Big Dipper and Ursa Minor.

With its detection, there will be no problems if you follow the arc of three bright stars that form the handle of the asterism in Ursa Major. It is part of the Local Interstellar Cloud (now the Earth and the Solar System are moving through it), occupying 30 light years in diameter. Arcturus refers to the old disk star. He appears to be traveling with a group of 52 other old disk stars, collectively referred to as the Arcturus Stream.

Neckar (Beta Bootes) is a yellow G-type giant about 219 light years distant. It is a flashing variable star that increases its brightness for several minutes. The name “Neckar” was formed from an error in the transliteration of the Arabic word “cattle driver”. Sometimes this star is also referred to as “Meres”.

Seginus (Gamma Bootes) is a Shield delta-type variable star that shows changes in brightness as a result of radial and non-radial pulsations on the surface. It is 85 light years distant. The value fluctuates between 3.02 and 3.07 with a period of 6.97 hours. Spectral class – A7III.

Isar (Epsilon Bootes) is a binary star about 300 light years distant. Represented by a bright orange giant and a smaller, fainter main sequence star. She is also sometimes called Pulherrima, which is translated from Latin as “beautiful”. Another name Izar is translated from Arabic – “veil”. Other traditional names are Mirak (loins in Arabic) and Mizar.

Mufrid (Eta Bootes) is a spectroscopic binary star with a period of 494 days. Located near Arcturus (3.24 light years). By tradition, she got the name Mufrid, derived from the Arabic expression “a star distant from a man with a lance.” Also known as Sahak. It is 37 light years distant from us. Spectral class – G0 IV. It has a significant excess of elements heavier than hydrogen.

Alcalurops (Mu Bootes) is a triple star 121 light years from us. The brightest component is a yellow-white F-type subgiant with an apparent visual magnitude of 4.31. It is accompanied by a double star located at a distance of 108 arc seconds. The name comes from the Greek word “kalaurops” – “shepherd’s staff.”

Merga (38 Bootes) – belongs to the spectral class F7IVw and is 153 light years distant. The name comes from the Arabic phrase “chained woman”. Apparent magnitude – 5.74.

Nadlat (Psi Bootes) is an orange K-type giant about 250 light years distant. The apparent magnitude is 4.52.

Τ Bootes (Tau Bootes) is a double star, 51 light years away. It is represented by a yellow-white dwarf and a dull red dwarf. The first star has an extrasolar planet, discovered in 1996 and confirmed in 1999.

Celestial objects

The Bootes Supercluster (Great Bootes Void) is a spherical region of the sky with an incredibly small number of galaxies, covering 250 million light years in diameter. Right ascension 14h 20m and declination 26 °. He was found by Robert P. Kirchner, professor of astronomy at Harvard College, in 1981. This was work in the framework of the survey of galactic redshifts. At least 60 galaxies live in the void. American astronomer Gregory Scott Alderling said: “If the Milky Way were in the center of the Bootes Supercluster, then until the 1960s, we would not even have guessed the existence of other galaxies in the Universe.”

Bootes I (Bootes Dwarf Galaxy) is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy about 197,000 light years distant. Belongs to one of the weakest galaxies. The absolute magnitude is -5.8 and the apparent magnitude is 13.1. Because of this, she was found only in 2006. Orbits the Milky Way. Due to its distorted shape, the Milky Way appears to be crossing it. It is 720 light years across

NGC 5466 is a globular cluster in the constellation Bootes, 51,800 light-years from Earth.

NGC 5466

NGC 5466

British astronomer William Herschel found it in 1784. It is 52,800 light years distant from the center of the galaxy and is believed to be the source of the stellar stream – the 45-degree Tidal Stream, discovered in 2006. The cluster differs in that it contains a blue horizontal branch of stars and is not rich in metals.

You can study the constellation Bootes more closely if you use not only our photos, but 3D models and an online telescope. For an independent search, a static or moving map of the starry sky is suitable.

Constellations of the summer sky
June Bootes Compass Libra Wolf Ursa Minor
July Bird of Paradise Altar Crown of the North Dragon Hercules Square Ophiuchus Scorpio Serpent Southern Triangle
August Crown South Lyra Sagittarius Shield Telescope

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