Though the formal constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenices's Hair) is focussed on the Coma Berenices Cluster (seen just to the right of center), it covers much more territory. Diadem (Alpha Comae) is at the lower left edge, while Beta (un-named) is the brighter star up and to the right. Neither is part of the cluster. Gamma is the bright star near the top of the cluster, while 17 Com is the third in the row of brighter stars down and to the left of it. Coma Berenices is just south of Canes Venatici, the two constellations seen to the west of Bootes. Coma Berenices contains the North Galactic Pole, the north end of the perpendicular to the plane of the Galaxy (seen as the Milky Way), which is marked by the brighter of the pair of stars down and to the right of Beta, 31 Comae, "Polaris Galacticus Borealis" (which also belongs to the cluster). The South Galactic Pole is in Sculptor.

To see a labelled image, push the star:

See Coma Berenices from Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis Edition of 1781.

For more on Coma Berenices, see Under the Handle at Stellar Stories.

See Coma Berenices in context with Leo Minor, Leo, and Virgo.

By Jim Kaler. Return to STARS.