Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Constellations: Bootes - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
The Constellation Bootes, the Herdsman
Click on image for full size

Bootes

Bootes, the herdsman, rides through the sky during the late Spring and early Summer. While he may have appeared as a shepherd to the ancients, modern star-gazers like us can easily recognize the shape of a kite, with the bright star Arcturus at the point of the kite where the tail is attached.

Arcturus is a bright red supergiant star with a diameter nearly 20 times that of the Sun and a brightness more than 100 times that of our Sun. Since it is only 36 light-years away (close for a star!), it appears as the brightest star in Bootes, and, in fact, the fourth brightest star in the sky.

Bootes was identified with a farmer who plows the land during spring. The Romans called Bootes the Herdsman of the Septemtriones, that is, of the seven oxen represented by the seven stars of the Big Dipper, which was seen as the cart or the plow.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more

Arcturus: Orange Giant

What's in a Name: Greek for "Bearkeeper". The bear is the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear). Claim to Fame: 4th brightest star in the sky. The reddish light of Arcturus striking a photoelectric...more

Ursa Major

Ursa Major is probably the most famous constellation, with the exception of Orion. Also known as the Great Bear, it has a companion called Ursa Minor, or Little Bear. The body and tail of the bear make...more

Callisto and her son Arcas

Callisto was a river goddess. Callisto was the favorite companion of the moon goddess Diana. One day the god Jupiter saw the beautiful Callisto and fell in love with her. Knowing that Diana had warned...more

Bootes

Bootes, the herdsman, rides through the sky during the late Spring and early Summer. While he may have appeared as a shepherd to the ancients, modern star-gazers like us can easily recognize the shape...more

Hydra

Hydra is the longest constellation in the sky and is also the largest in terms of area. It is so long that it takes more than six hours to rise completely. Along its northern side, we can observe the zodiacal...more

Leo

The constellation Leo is known as the Lion. Leo's head and mane make up an upside-down question mark called the Sickle. One of the brightest spring stars, Regulus (Latin for "little king"), is at the base...more

40 Eridani B - Burnt-Out Cinder

What's in a Name: Star designated 40 in the constellation Eridanus. Claim to Fame: One of the first white dwarfs found. A white dwarf is the exposed extremely hot core of a star that has blown off its...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF