Draco and Ursa Minor from Urania’s Mirror (1825)

Draco & Ursa Minor Constellation Image

This image of the constellations Draco and Ursa Minor comes from the Old Book Art Image Gallery, and specifically from the book Urania’s Mirror, or A View of the Heavens; Consisting of Thirty-Two Cards on Which are Represented all the Constellations Visible in Great Britain; on a Plan Perfectly Original, Designed by a Lady. Sidney Hall, 1825, by “A Lady” (really Richard Rouse Bloxam).  Of the image itself, the caption reads:

Hand colored etching on layered paper board. Colorful astronomical chart with a depiction of the stars and constellations. Figures include Draco the Dragon (or Serpent, or Snake), flicking its long, pointed red tongue, and Ursa Minor (or the Little Bear, also known as the Little Dipper), here shown as a small white bear.

I found this great image (and future image resource in the Old Book Art website) while browsing the very cool site EarthSky.org, where Deborah Byrd is the Editor-in-Chief.  A few weeks ago, Deborah posted an article titled See the Dragon’s Eyes on June evenings, wherein she points out that right now is a great time to see the two bright “eyes” of the constellation Draco, Rastaban and Eltanin, in most parts of the world:

From tropical and subtropical latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, the stars Rastaban and Eltanin shine quite low in the northern sky (below Vega). In either hemisphere, at all time zones, the Dragon’s eyes climb highest up in the sky around midnight (1 a.m. daylight-saving time) in mid-June, 11 p.m. (midnight daylight-saving time) in early July, and 9 p.m. (10 p.m. daylight-saving time) in early August. But from temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere (southern Australia and New Zealand), the Dragon’s eyes never climb above your horizon, but you can catch the star Vega way low in your northern sky.

Draco Constellation Detail (Rastaban and Eltanin)

You can read even more details about this celestial phenomenon in Deborah’s post, and I recommend checking out the entire EarthSky website, a place where Deborah and her team “have a blast bringing you daily updates on your cosmos and world.”

Thanks for reading, take care and stay creative!

Image credits:
Draco and Ursa Minor from the Old Book Art Image Gallery (via EarthSky.org)
Detail of Draco and Lyra from EarthSky.org

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