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Constellation of China: a legend. Constellation of China: stars

Astronomers, amateurs can easily find the so-called water region in the night sky. Here "live" Pisces, Aquarius, "flowing" Eridan. There is also the constellation of Kit. This heavenly pattern occupies a fairly large area. For observation with the naked eye in good weather, about a hundred stars are included in its composition.


Constellation of China for children, however, as for adults, is a fairly simple object in terms of detection in the sky. He has enough bright and almost all known landmarks - it's Orion and Taurus. They are located not far to the east of the constellation described.

The whale is included in the number of southern celestial drawings, since only a small part of it lies in the northern hemisphere. The ideal time for observing the constellation is November. At the same time in our country you can admire it only in the central and southern regions.

Constellation of China: a legend

The whale is one of the oldest clusters of stars that make up the list of the Greek scholar Ptolemy. Strictly speaking, an impressive mammal, plowing the vast expanses of the ocean and feeding on plankton, has only an indirect relation to such a heavenly figure as the constellation of Keith. The legend associated with him, tells of a terrible monster, sent by the gods of Olympus to the country of the Ethiopian king Kefei in punishment for his wife's reckless words about the unsurpassed beauty. It was this beast, called in the myth a whale or just a huge fish, was supposed to eat Andromeda, the daughter of Kefei. Saved beautiful Perseus, and after a while the gods immortalized all participants of those events in the sky. Perhaps, the constellation of Keith for children first becomes interesting after reading this legend. Although sometimes it is the other way round: Greek mythology is filled with a new meaning after acquaintance with the map of the starry sky.

The brightest

Constellation of China is remarkable in many ways. For example, not always, that is not at any time, it is possible to say with certainty which star in its composition is the brightest. The status of the most notable luminaries usually have an Alpha and Beta celestial pattern, with the second brighter than the first. However, sometimes the constellation of Kit is illuminated by the outbreaks of Mira (Omikron Kita), but more on this later.

Beta of this cluster of stars also has the names of Diphd or Deneb Kaitos (tail of the whale). This is an orange giant, entering the last stage of its life cycle. Difda does not greatly exceed the Sun by mass (only three times), but it shines brighter than it 145 times and 17 times more in diameter. There is an orange giant at a distance of 96 light years from our planet.


Several very interesting objects enter the constellation of China. Stars, designated as Omicron and Tau, attract the attention of many astronomers, both amateurs and professionals.

Omicron Kita, already mentioned above, is also called Mira, which means "amazing", or "marvelous". Her first discoverer is David Fabricius, who observed the star in 1596. The light refers to the type of long-period variables, denoted in her honor by the Myrids. A characteristic feature of them is a long period of brightness variation. In the case of Mira, he averaged 331.62 days. Surprising is the range in which its stellar magnitude varies : from 3.4 to 9.3 m. At the maximum brightness Omikron Kita becomes one of the brightest stars of this heavenly figure, and at the minimum it is not visible even through binoculars. At the same time, the limits of the range can also shift: the World is capable of becoming a star of 2.0 m, that is, the brightest in the constellation. The lower boundary, in turn, sometimes shifts to 10.1 m.


The world is also a multiple star system, consisting of two luminaries. The red giant of the World A and his companion the white dwarf of the World B are separated by a distance of 70 light years and rotate with an orbital period of 400 years. The features described above characterize Omicron Cet A, but the white dwarf also belongs to the number of variable stars. It is surrounded by a disk consisting of a substance that flows here from the red giant. The substance behaves unevenly, as a result of which the brightness of the companion varies from 9.5 to 12 m.


The world justifies its name. After four centuries of watching the star, she managed to surprise astronomers. In 2007, thanks to the GALEX telescope, a gas-dust tail of a giant size was found near the star: it stretches for 13 light years, which is 3 times greater than the distance from the Sun to the Centaurus Proxima. According to the researchers, Omicron Keith, every ten years, loses a mass equal to the terrestrial. As a result of the peculiarities of the motion of the star, the matter discharged by it is blown back.

Moving the Worlds through outer space is another amazing property of the star. It moves in the opposite direction to most other directions. At a speed of about 130 km / s, the World overcomes the cloud of interstellar gas flying towards it. The consequence is the formation of the tail.


The world is not the only "attraction" that adorns the constellation. Tau Kita - no less famous luminary of this heavenly figure. After Proxima Centauri and Epsilon Eridani it is the closest star to us (the distance is 12 light years). Its feature is similarity in many parameters to the Sun. Tau Kita, like our luminary, is a yellow dwarf without companions. It slowly rotates around its axis, which again makes it akin to the Sun. However, this property of the two stars is not characteristic of the stars of their spectral class. In the case of the Sun, slow rotation is explained by the presence of a planetary system, which divided the angular momentum of the momentum. Until recently, the assumptions about the reason for the slow rotation of Tau Kita existed only at the level of guesswork.

Five planets

Constellation Kit horoscope, as a rule, deprives the attention as not related to the zodiac. Astronomers, unlike astrologers, believe that with some degree of probability, the stars of China can play a very significant role in the life of all mankind.

In December 2012, the slow rotation of Tau Kita received an explanation similar to the same property of the Sun: the star had five exoplanets discovered. Since then, the attention of many specialists in the field of astronomy and astrophysics has been riveted to this system. The fact is that at least two of the detected exoplanets are potentially suitable for life, and therefore, can be inhabited.

All five objects are fairly compact: the orbit of the farthest from the star is located closer to Tau Ceti than Mars to the Sun. The first three exoplanets are therefore unsuitable for protein life: most likely they are red-hot deserts, star-burnt out. Hopes for finding if not a developed civilization, then at least primitive organisms are assigned to the last two planets.

Specifications and conditions

The fourth from the Tau Ceti planet is more than three times the mass of Earth and makes one revolution around the star in 168 days. The last indicator for the next, fifth, object of the system is approximately 640 days. The obtained data do not allow us to unequivocally determine what the temperature conditions on these cosmic bodies are, but scientists believe that the climate on planets can be suitable for the development of life.

The situation, however, is not so simple: the Tau Ceti system, unlike Solar, has a huge number of asteroids and comets. On this indicator, it is about 10 times ahead of our piece of the Galaxy. In such conditions, the planet must constantly withstand collisions with massive objects comparable to the meteorite that supposedly caused the death of the dinosaurs. The probability is therefore great that life, if it exists on the planets of Tau Kita, is at a primitive level.

However, all this information still requires rechecking and more thorough analysis. At the same time, the constellation of China remains a place where a star with potentially inhabited planets shines. Scientists do not leave any hope of discovering evidence of the existence of life on these objects, for which the radio telescope is continuously sent to Tau Ceti in order to catch possible signals from the civilization that exists there. Celestial drawing has become a kind of symbol of hope and future, perhaps, therefore, some companies are named after him: for example, the Center "Constellation of China" (RF, Novosibirsk).

Among the objects of this heavenly drawing there are not only interesting stars. Here is a large number of galaxies and nebulae. The entire constellation of Kita (stars, galaxy clusters and other elements of it) is of great interest for science. Do not deprive him of attention and amateur astronomers, whose value in the study of heavenly bodies can not be exaggerated.

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