Draco - Equuleus - Eridanus - Gemini


A small but distinctive group near the Milky Way. Many fine fields and some good variable stars. However, one of the most peculiar things about Delphinus is that its leaders, α and β, have the peculiar names of Sualocin and Rotanev. Antiquarians anguished over their etymology until wise old Rev.Webb pointed out that they spelled Nicolaus Venator backwards, the latin version of the name of an assistant at Palermo observatory, Niccolo Cacciatore. (Or in English, Nicholas Hunter)

Groups of stars

1. Beautiful group, lying just west of 29 Vulpeculae (4.8).

2. 20h 40m, +19°. Small, square asterism. A pretty group with small glasses.

3. ε (4.0). Sweep from this star towards θ.

4. ρ Aquilae (5.0). A beautiful field of faintish stars just East of this object.

5. 13 and 14. Part of a large quadrilateral. 14 is a wide pair.

6. 20h 32m, +6°. Beautiful collection of 13 stars somewhat like the greek letter Σ.

Wide doubles

Σ2665. A member of group (4). Mags are 6.9 and 7.2.

β. Note the tiny triple to the Northwest.

θ. Small wide triple E. A degree NE of this is a wide pair, while south of this is a small curve, of which the northern star is double. Directly East again is another close pair.

Variable stars

U (5.6-7.5) A well-loved red variable, with two useful stars of 6.3 and 6.8 between it and alpha Del.

CT (7.7-8.2) A red star with a rather small range for visual observers; but you can at least see when it is brighter or fainter than the 8.0m star to its Southeast.

CZ (7.8-9.0) This is one of a wide triple, whose most distant member is to the northwest and is of 8.7 magnitude.

EU (6.0-6.9) A well-followed red variable near U, whose comparisons can be used here as well.


A long and rather dull group to the eye, but full of good fields and interesting objects for the binocular owner, especially in its Eastern borders.

Groups of stars

1. Bright triangle of 7 (5.7), 8 (5.3) and 9 (5.5) which also contains the red variable RY Draconis.

2. 15h 25m, +62°. A long, bright diamond.

3. Large trapezium that includes 15 Dra (5.0).

4. 27 and ω. A region of many bright stars to the binocular lenses.

5. χ. Fine sweeping in this area.

6. Brilliant groupings around 64 and 66 towards θ Cephei.

7. Fine, prominent group of delta, pi, epsilon and rho.

8. Large pentagon, including the bright stars χ, φ and tau.

9. 15h 44m, +55°. A fine region of several bright stars. Good for small glasses.

10. Sweep around the "head" of Draco; an area of many small stars.

11. γ. The brightest star in Draco is the guide to a fine sweeping area, especially to the East.

Wide doubles

η. This has a companion, itself a close double, just to the North.

19. With 20, forms a striking object for small bins.

16. Similarly forms a good object with 17, of the same brightness.

Close doubles

OΣΣ 123. A lovely yellow and blue double.

n. Said to be just splittable with the naked eye, binoculars show this to be a fine equal double.

y. Another good binocular pair. The colours are yellow and lilac and the separation is 31 arc-seconds.

Σ2273. A close (21") pair of the 7th magnitude. Use large glasses here.

Σ2278. Similar magnitudes, but wider at 39".

39. Rather difficult; mags 5 and 8, distance apart 89".

Σ2348. A hard pair of differing colours, and close at only 26 seconds.

46. A star with an attendant on each side.

o. This star has an eighth-magnitude comes thirty seconds away.

ΣI 44. A lovely gold and blue pair 77" apart. Note a faint foursome 1° to the west.

Variable stars

RY (6.7-8.0) Easy to find, this deep red star needs looking at once every three weeks. Use the stars in group (1) to estimate it when bright.

TX (6.8-8.3) Another easy star, one of a trapezoid near eta. There are two comparisons on either side, 7.2 and 7.9.

UW (7.0-8.0) A small right-angle just east of ξ (7.2, 7.5 and 7.8) is perfect for this star, which is orange instead of the usual red.

UX (6.2-6.9) One of the reddest stars in the sky, so beware how you estimate it. It lies near the star 59 Dra, on the other side of which is a good comparison of 6.5m.

VW (6.0-6.5) Quite difficult with small glasses because of a close companion of 6.7m. Like UW above, this is an orange variable.

AH (7.1-7.9) Another double, but rather wider. The attendant is South of AH, and is of magnitude 7.3.

AI (7.1-8.1) This eclipser makes a right-angle with two other stars of 7.1 and 7.7 that lie between it and μ.

AT (5.3-6.0) A bright star, well-suited to small glasses and lying halfway from η to θ.

Clusters and Nebulae

NGC 6543. A small but quite bright planetary nebula, with a wide pair 1°SE. Use the chart here to find it.


A small group with little to offer, figured in pictorial star-maps as not so much a Horse as a nag's head!

Groups of stars

1. Large, fine group with attractive sweeping SE. It includes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

2. 21h 20m, +3°. Beautiful little group (6.6,7.3,7.4,7.6).

3. δ (4.6). Good sweeping to the N and NE.

4. 21h 00m, +13°. Small arc of eight faint stars.

Wide doubles

21h 07m, +07°30'. Small triple with an orange star of 6.4m to the S. A degree to the east is another wide pair of 7.2 and 7.4.

γ and 6. An easy wide pair of 4.8 and 6.0m.


A huge constellation with relatively few bright stars. Some of its length is too far South to be seen from most Northern countries, and is treated under the Southern groups.

Groups of stars

1. Bright triangle which includes the red variable CV Eri.

2. η, δ and 17. Sweep around these stars.

3. Large group, including 24 (5.1), 32 and 35.

4. o2 and 39. Another area worth perusal.

5. Sweep the area bounded by Rigel, λ and β Eridani.

6. 60 (5.2). A region of numerous faint stars.

Wide doubles

ζ This 4.9m star has a neighbour of 6.8. Forms a pair also with 14.

β. A star with two bright associates, 66 and 68. Attractive in small binoculars.

τ6. Between this star and γ is a fine wide pair of 6.4 and 6.6.

π Between this and 20 (5.3) is another pair, rather wider.

Close doubles

62. An easy object with a distance of 66". A is yellow.

P.255 Good for medium glasses, with mags of 7.2 and 8.4 and 145" apart.

P.257 This rather dim pair of 8.0 and 8.3 lies in a pleasant area.

P.258 Another faintish pair. Distance 122".

Variable stars

Z (5.6-7.2) This red star is one of a parallelogram whose remaining members are of 6.1, 7.2 and 7.5m.

RR (7.0-8.0) Another red variable, two stars of 7.2 and 8.0 lying to the North-east, and making useful comparison stars.

CV (6.3-6.9) This is one of group (1) and is rather isolated.


A brilliant constellation with many striking Milky Way fields. Castor is a famous multiple star made up of no less than 6 components, though none are visible with bins. Gemini, as a constellation, has always been associated with a pair of something - whether Kids (Chinese) Boys (Greeks) Peacocks (Arabs) or Angels (some renaissance artists!)

Groups of stars

1. Long bright Y formed by ι, 59, 64 and 65.

2. Smaller, more regular Y between sigma and iota.

3. Large, bright arc near Castor, includes 70 and o.

4. Sweep from the red star 1 (4.3) to eta and mu , also red stars.

5. γ. Good sweeping from here towards Orion.

6. 41 (5.6), has beautiful clouds of faint stars to the S.

7. Tiny groups of faint stars also around 52 (6.0).

Wide doubles

39 and 40. A bright pair, with the latter a close double. There are two fainter and closer pairs 1° SE.

8 and 9. Two 6m stars with a bright triple (10, 11, 12 Gem) south.

ξ This star has two bright companions.

κ Directly West is a wide pair of 6.0 and 6.3.

Close doubles

OΣ 134. One of a small triangle. Distance 31 arcseconds.

ν An unequal but fairly easy pair (113") that makes a wide triple with 16 and 15. The latter is also double (6.5,8.0; 30").

20. This equal pair is quite close but is in a superb field.

ζ. A fine binocular object, distance 94".The primary is a bright Cepheid variable.

Variable stars

SS (8.5-9.5) Owners of large glasses can follow this RV Tauri star by using the chart provided. Observe once a week.

TU (7.4-8.3) A red semi-regular, one of a trapezium.

TV (6.6-8.0). Near the star eta Geminorum in a field containing several red stars, which are shown on the finding chart here.

WY (7.2-7.9). See under TV.

BN (6.0-6.6) A white variable not far from λ. The 6.3m 67 Gem is a good comparison.

BQ (5.1-5.5) The smallest of glasses will show this star, which like the previous object has rather too small a range for visual observation - though you can use 45 Gem (5.6) and 41 (5.8) nearby.

BU (6.1-7.5) 8 and 9 Gem (6.1 and 6.3 respectively) are useful when this star is near maximum.

IS (5.3-6.0) Like BQ, suited to small glasses. SE of the nearby θ is a good comparison star of 6.0m.

Clusters and Nebulae

M.35 (NGC 2168). A magnificent sight in a telescope, and by no means disappointing in bins either. Anything larger than 8x30 will show some stars, superimposed upon a glowing gleam.

NGC 2129. Easily found near 1 Gem, large binoculars may reveal a few stars, though observers in this area tend to be more attracted by M.35!