AURIGA

Auriga (the Charioteer) rises, with north to the left. . Capella is the bright star toward upper left. The three "Kids" (clockwise from left, Almaaz, Haedus I and Haedus II) are just up and to the right of Capella. The star to the right of center, a part of the figure of Auriga, is Elnath, and is also one of the horns of the constellation Taurus. The star is both Beta Tauri and Gamma Aurigae. It is formally within the boundary of Taurus, however, so the name "Gamma Aurigae" is not used. Menkalinan, Beta Aurigae, is the bright star down from Capella, while Al Kab (Iota Aur) is to the right of the Kids. Theta Aurigae lies at the bottom of the pentagon that makes the figure. The "runaway star" AE Aur is just above the string of stars that lies to the right inside the pentagon that outlines the constellation. Delta is at exact left hand edge just below center, while Pi Aur is the fainter star just to the left of Menkalinan. Lambda is the brighter right-hand star in the horizontal string below Haedus II. AB Aur is the left hand star of the faint pair to the right of Iota.

The open clusters M 38, M 36, and M 37 run in a line from the center toward lower right. In the bottom right-hand corner is the fuzzy patch that makes M 35 in Gemini. The Milky Way glows faintly from top center to lower right. The bright "star" to upper right is Mars. Auriga contains the Anticenter of the Milky Way (the Galactic disk), which lies down and to the left of Elnath, just across the border from Taurus. Just up and to the left of Theta is a triangle remarkably like "The Kids," which we dub "The Little Kids," made of (clockwise from upper left) Tau, Upsilon, and Nu Aurigae.

To see a labelled image, push the star:

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See Auriga's clusters and variable stars at the Galaxy's Anticenter.

For more on Auriga, see Riding the Chariot at Stellar Stories.

By Jim Kaler. Return to STARS.