Equuleus the Foal can be found just to the west of Pegasus, the Flying Horse and is the second smallest constellation (after Crux, in the southern hemisphere) in the entire night sky. It’s also one of the faintest as it contains no bright stars, making it difficult to see from suburban skies. However, if you can find Altair, the brightest star in Aquila the Eagle and then locate Delphinus to the north-east, you may be able to spot Equuleus nearby.
It’s a barren constellation, devoid of any interesting deep sky objects, such as open or globular star clusters, nebulae or galaxies, but there are two doubles worth a quick look. The brighter (and more easily found) is Gamma Equulei, a pair of wide stars easily seen in binoculars. The brightest (primary) is white and about twice as bright as the fainter (secondary) star, which appears bluish.
Telescope owners can also try their hand at 1 Equulei, a fainter star found to the south-west. A medium magnification of about 100x should easily split this star into its two yellow-white components. The primary is itself a double but that pair is currently too close to be separated by small telescopes on Earth.
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
22:52 UT – Jupiter appears 0.4° north of Regulus. (Jupiter: magnitude -1.7, diameter 30.9”. Leo, not visible.)
Venus fades to magnitude -4.0 (2% illuminated, diameter 56.6”. Leo, not visible.)
The constellation Equuleus (the Foal) culminates at midnight tonight. (Naked eye, all night. See images above.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
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