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ecosse

What Is your favorite constellation?

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Seriously, though (my nomination of Coma was a bit tongue-in-cheek :D ) why so few nominations for Ursa Major? Aside from Orion, it's got to be the one that 'every schoolboy knows' surely? And it's so incredibly useful - if UMa weren't there I'd have difficulty in polar aligning, especially from an unfamiliar site.

My wife - who is perhaps less familiar with the night sky than yours truly, always says that there are three that she can always recognise. Orion; Ursa Major (well, the Plough really) and Cassiopeia. Though - with a bit of nudging from me - she usually picks out the Summer Triangle - and the Square of Pegasus (neither of which are actually 'constellations' as such) - and Leo which is vaguely lion-shaped. When we're in France and therefore a bit further south, she can readily point out the 'Teapot' (main asterism of Sagittarius), she finds that easy to recognise.

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Errr.... Pleiades isn't a constellation. If you want to nominate the constellation that Pleiades are in, say 'Taurus'. But I see what folks mean...

I'll have to counter all these votes for the 'obvious' Orion and Cygnus, won't I? :) Let's see - something on the more obscure side...?

Coma Berenices.

Why? Well, it doesn't really look like a constellation does it, more like a dim V-shaped cluster - which is a spectacular sight in the bins - and not too familiar to the casual observer. But it's distinctive enough - given reasonably dark skies and knowing where to look.

And home to such a wealth of beautiful galaxies. NGC4565 is one of my favourites, but then there's M64, M99, M100 - and lots more.

My mistake sorry I should of said Taurus instead of the Pleiades. (Always one to catch you out!!):D

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Probably boring to some, but The Plough in Ursa Major is always there for me. It's just a beautiful naked eye object.

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Have to say that Orion is one of my favourites but i also love Cygnus and Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia was the second constellation that I managed to figure out after Orion and I was so excited! Still struggling with Cepheus though!

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Sorry, but yet another vote for orion.

It's so easy to find, and you could spend all night just on that constellation.

Yep definate favourite of mine.

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1169360248_zJFJG-S.jpg

Olly

This isn't Orion, it's Dr Zoidberg from Futurama!

What a photo!

Still Sagittarius for me tho, then Orion, Leo and Cygnus.

Edited by Double Kick Drum

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Definitely Orion for me too. When I was just a nipper I was fascinated by it and especially the way the belt stars point to Sirius and the Pleiades.

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Orion is great in the morning, It's clearly seen outside my bedroom window when I wake up, if its clear.

On the other hand the most familiar for me is Cassiopeia, as it's the first constellation I see every night ( sorry, I mean clear night ), when I go out into the backyard.

Edited by tibbs1972

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why so few nominations for Ursa Major? Aside from Orion, it's got to be the one that 'every schoolboy knows' surely? And it's so incredibly useful - if UMa weren't there I'd have difficulty in polar aligning, especially from an unfamiliar site.
It's low in the sky at the moment, that may have something to do with it not getting picked more.

I'm gonna go with Andromeda myself though, just for the galaxy.

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Really difficult to pick just one.

As I have been spending a lot of my observing time in Cassiopeia recently I will pick her but I'm sure in a couple months when Orion is available as an evening object I will change my alllegiance.

Interesting thread thanks for starting us all thinking Ecosse.

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The problem's that each season has its highlights. When I started, Orion, definitely. Then came Leo, and Cygnus, or Cassiopeia... Of course some seasons have several, and some are always there :icon_salut:

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We don't have to choose! Monoceros is a bit lame visually but get a camera on it and, boy, what a beauty...

Olly

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my first one i learnt was the plough! there is so much in there to see and one of the biggest "open" clusters around :icon_salut:

but for the more fun to see its orion, it has a wealth of colours from the red of beatlejuice (yes i know i spelt it wrong but its better than what i first came out with:P) then the blue the other end with rigel, the 3 in the belt, and the 3 in the sword. im looking forward to properly imgering it soon:)

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I think, the first-ever time I was able to view Scorpius at a sufficient elevation (I think I was at latitude somewhere in the +30's) to do it justice, and also in a truly dark sky (such that the MW really did look like a brilliant milky band) - that was the time I was really impressed at how scorpion-like the asterism appeared - even down to the sting at the tip of its tail. So I'll put in a bid for Scorpius.

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Cassiopeia was my favourite as a youngster because it was the same as the pattern of 5 dark freckles/ moles on my left forearm. These have now mostly faded and been overrun by hair & other freckles.

I love Ursa Major - It is so BIG, looks like what it is supposed to be (a great animal rearing up in Spring and diving down in Autumn) and shows me Polaris to orient myself. And it's always there, with a naked eye double, galaxies etc. How could I choose any other constellation?

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Orion for me too. Such a spectacular sight in the night sky.

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I don't think I can choose only one... :)

My favourite constellations are Ursa Major (always there, some nice objects etc), Cygnus - there's just something about this one. Watching Cygnus rise with the Milky Way at one of the Kielder spring star parties was an awesome site that I'm not sure I'll match again (well, I could just go back there!!).

Scorpius is in the mix too. I spent a few years as a child in West Africa and got to see Scorpius throughout the summer months in all it's glory. Now of course that I know what great objects are visible there I can barely see them due to it being so low but it's a constellation that always reminds me of my childhood.

Then there's Cassiopeia, the imagers dream constellation, and Virgo for all those galaxies, Auriga for it's clusters, Orion which is just majestic... and so on.

But if I was really forced to pick one favourite I think I'd have to plump for Cygnus ;) Lots of nice objects, the Milky Way, plenty to image and it's a constellation that is instantly recognizable.

James

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