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Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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02Aquarius, The Water Bearer

NAME: Aquarius (uh-KWAIR-ee-us)

SEASON: Summer

CULMINATION: midnight, 26 August

ABBREVIATION: Aqr

GENITIVE: Aquarii (uh-KWAIR-ee-ih)

NEIGHBORS: Aql, Cap, Cet, Del, Equ, Peg, PsA, Psc, Scl

BINOCULAR OBJECTS: NGC 6981 (M72), NGC 7089 (M2)

URBAN OBJECTS: NGC 7009, NGC 7089 (M2)

Aquarius, the Water Bearer, is a large constellation, ranking 10th in size among the 88 constellations. It covers 980 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 2.3%. Despite its size, Aquarius is not a prominent constellation. Its brightest stars, Sadalmelik, 34-Alpha (α) Aquarii, and Sadalsuud, 22-Beta (β) Aquarii, are only third magnitude. The most prominent star pattern in Aquarius is the Y-shaped asterism (a group of stars that forms ...

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