Delphinus Eng. oth: ) is a constellation in the northern sky, close to the celestial equator. Its name is the Latin version for the Greek word for dolphin. Delphinus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, it remains among the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union, it is one of the smaller constellations, ranked 69th in size. Delphinus' brightest stars form a distinctive asterism that can be recognized, it is bordered by Vulpecula the fox, Sagitta the arrow, Aquila the eagle, Aquarius the water-carrier, Equuleus the foal and Pegasus the flying horse. Delphinus lacks stars above fourth magnitude; the main asterism in Delphinus is Job's Coffin, nearly a 45°-apex lozenge diamond of the four brightest stars: Alpha, Beta and Delta Delphini. Delphinus is in a rich Milky Way star field. Alpha and Beta Delphini have 19th century names Sualocin and Rotanev, read backwards: Nicolaus Venator, the Latinized name of a Palermo Observatory director, Niccolò Cacciatore.
Alpha Delphini is a blue-white hued main sequence star of 241 light-years from Earth. Beta Delphini, called Rotanev; the gap between its close binary stars is visible from large amateur telescopes. To the unaided eye, it appears to be a white star of magnitude 3.6. It is 97 light-years from Earth. Gamma Delphini is a celebrated binary star among amateur astronomers; the primary is orange-gold of magnitude 4.3. The pair form a true binary with an estimated orbital period of over 3,000 years. 125 light-years away, the two components are visible in a small amateur telescope. The secondary described as green, is 10 arcseconds from the primary. Struve 2725, called the "Ghost Double", is a pair that appears dimmer, its components of magnitudes 7.6 and 8.4 are separated by 6 arcseconds and are 15 arcminutes from Gamma Delphini itself. Delta Delphini is a type A7 IIIp star of magnitude 4.43. Epsilon Delphini, Deneb Dulfim, or Aldulfin, is a star of stellar class B6 III and magnitude 4, at 330 ly. In Delphinus, in extremes of distance, Gliese 795 is the closest known star at 54.95 ly and moves east over a period of centuries.
Its brightness ranges from a magnitude of 12.3 to a magnitude of 9.7 over its variable period as it is a Beta Persei star-type semi-detached system. Other variable stars of large amateur telescopic visibility include R Delphini, a Mira-type variable star with a period of 285.5 days. Its magnitude ranges between a maximum 7.6 and a minimum 13.8. Rho Aquilae at magnitude 4.94 is at about 150 light years. Due to its proper motion it has been in the bounds of the constellation since 1992. HR Delphini was a nova that brightened to magnitude 3.5 in December 1967. A nova was discovered by amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki, Nova Delphini 2013. GiantsGiants within our galaxy in Delphinus aside from Delta and Epsilon include: Its rich Milky Way star field means many modestly deep-sky objects. NGC 6891 is a planetary nebula of magnitude 10.5. NGC 6934 is a globular cluster of magnitude 9.75. At a distance of about 185,000 light-years, the globular cluster NGC 7006 is at the outer reaches of the galaxy, it is fairly dim at magnitude 11.5.
Delphinus is associated with two stories from Greek mythology. According to the first Greek god Poseidon wanted to marry a beautiful nereid. However, wanting to protect her virginity, she fled to the Atlas mountains, her suitor sent out several searchers, among them a certain Delphinus. Delphinus accidentally stumbled upon her and was able to persuade Amphitrite to accept Poseidon's wooing. Out of gratitude the god placed the image of a dolphin among the stars; the second story tells of the Greek poet Arion of Lesbos, saved by a dolphin. He was a court musician at the palace of Periander, ruler of Corinth. Arion had amassed a fortune during his travels to Italy. On his way home from Tarentum his wealth caused the crew of his ship to conspire against him. Threatened with death, Arion asked to be granted a last wish which the crew granted: he wanted to sing a dirge; this he did, while doing so, flung himself into the sea. There, he was rescued by a dolphin, charmed by Arion's music; the dolphin left.
In Chinese astronomy, the stars of Delphinus are located within the Black Tortoise of the North. In Polynesia, two cultures recognized Delphinus as a constellation. In Pukapuka, it was called Te Toloa and in the Tuamotus, it was called Te Uru-o-tiki. USS Delphinus and USS Delphinus, two United States Navy ships, are named after the constellation. A house at Sutton Girls is named Maud Worcester; the Morning Star Rises: an account of Polynesian astronomy. Yale University Press. Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion. Stars and Planets Guide, London. ISBN 978-0-00-823927-5. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0-691-17788-5. University of Wisconsin, "Delphinus" The Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations: Delphinus The clickable Delphinus Star Tales – Delphinus Warburg Institute Iconographic Database
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