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The Constellation Bootes, the Herdsman
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Bootes

Bootes, the herdsman, rides through the sky during the late Spring and early Summer. Bootes is fun to look at because it has the shape of a kite, with the bright star Arcturus at the point of the kite where the tail is attached.

Arcturus is the brightest star in Bootes, and the fourth brightest star in the whole sky. It is a very large ("supergiant"!) star, with a bright orange-red color.

Bootes was identified with a farmer who plows the land during spring. The Romans believed that Bootes was the herdsman of the seven oxen represented by the seven stars of the Big Dipper.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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