Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 08:53:58 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Hercules

Hercules is a large but not prominent constellation depicting the hero of Greek Myth, Hercules lies between the bright stars Arcturus and Vega. The body of Hercules is inverted in the sky, the head being marked by Alpha Herculis, in the south, and the feet by the stars to the north. Hercules was ordered by King Eurystheus of Mycenae to perform 12 labors, one of which was to slay a dragon (marked by adjacent Draco). Hercules is depicted resting on his right knee, with his left foot on the dragon's head. The constellation features the brightest globular cluster in northern skies, M13, and some notable double stars. Its brightest star is Beta Herculis, magnitude 2.8.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: Hercules
  • Pronounced: HER-kyou-leez
  • Genitive: Herculis
  • Abbreviation: Her
  • Highest in the Sky: June to August
  • Size Ranking: 5th
  • Coverage Area: 1,125 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 17 hours
  • Declination: 30°
  • Visibility: 90°N to 39°S

 Notable Objects

  • Alpha Herculis: Double star
  • Rho Herculis: Optical Double star
  • M13: Hercules Cluster
  • The Propeller: Multiple star system
  • M92: Globular cluster
  • NGC 6207: Spiral galaxy
  • NGC 6210: Planetary nebula
  • 95 Herculis: Red giant star

 Named Stars

  • Ras Algethi, Alpha Herculis
  • Rutilicus, Beta Herculis
  • Sarin, Delta Herculis
  • Marfik, Kappa Herculis
  • Maasym, Lambda Herculis
  • Kajam, Omega Herculis

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Alpha Herculis (Rasalgethi)

 A red giant of variable brightness. It ranges between 3rd and 4th magnitudes, with no set period, as a result of fluctuations in its size. A small telescope shows a companion of magnitude 5.4. Hercules is depicted kneeling, and the name Rasalgethi is derived fron an Arabic term meaning "the kneelers head."

Rho Herculis

 A optical double star. The two components of magnitudes 4.6 and 5.4 can be separated with a small telescope with high magnification.

95 Herculis

 A silver and gold pair of stars of magnitudes 5.0 and 5.2, divisible through a small telescope.

100 Herculis

 A pair of almost identical white stars, both of magnitude 5.8, that can be separated with a small telescope. The two stars do not form a true binary.


 The brightest globular cluster in the northern sky. Under dark skies, it appears to the naked eye like a hazy star. Binoculars show it clearly, about half the apparent size of the full Moon, and a small telescope shows its brightest stars. It is 25,000 light-years away.


 A globular cluster, fainter and smaller than M13 but still worthy of attention. Binoculars are needed to find it, and a telescope of moderate aperture will show its stars.


 Where to?

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