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

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03Aquila, The Eagle

NAME: Aquila (ACK-will-uh)

SEASON: Summer

CULMINATION: midnight, 12 July

ABBREVIATION: Aql

GENITIVE: Aquilae (ACK-will-eye)

NEIGHBORS: Aqr, Cap, Del, Her, Oph, Sct, Ser, Sge, Sgr

BINOCULAR OBJECTS: NGC 6709

URBAN OBJECTS: NGC 6709

Aquila is a medium-size constellation, ranking 22nd of 88. It covers 652 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 1.6%. Aquila is an ancient constellation, old even to the Homeric Greeks. Aquila has been recognized as a constellation at least since the time of the Sumerians, between 3,000 and 5,500 years ago. Aquila has almost universally been recognized as a bird, usually an eagle, across cultures and across time.

To the Greeks, Aquila the Eagle was Zeus’s pet and companion. Zeus was enraged ...

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