Milwaukee Astronomical Society

Stargazing

Autumn Sky Tour Home Page


The autumn sky brings some of the faintest constellations carrying the brightest legend - the story of Andromeda and Perseus. With this sky you have the opportunity to tell the story in full, illustrated in spectacular fashion by the stars. While there are many other bright constellations up at this time with interesting features of their own, the Andromeda Legend is the centerpiece of the sky and the backbone of the Autumn Stargazing Tour.

The account here is the agenda that I loosely follow in providing a guided tour of the autumn skies as visible from 45° North Latitude. This tour is designed for one topic to lead to the next, so it flows nicely and still manages to teach Astronomy under the night sky as we caravan from one constellation to another. Aside from the binoculars and telescopes I usually make a point of also bringing a highly focused flashlight which serves as an effective pointer for tracing out constellations.

View to the South


View to the North



Overview of the Tour

I actually start the autumn tour with a quick observation of the Great Square, since you can scarcely move around the sky without stumbling across it. We then turn to the polar constellations, wind our way down the Milky Way, skirt across the southern horizon following the Zodiac, then finish with the Andromeda Legend as the grand finale. Under a time pressure, I have been known to tell the story of Andromeda, then pick up other items of interest as time permits.


The Top Attractions

Time might be limited, if it's chilly, if conditions are changing, or else if time is just limited. In that case, these are the best items to hit - the ones that the kids (and the adults) are talking about days later.

Feature Naked Eye Binocs Scope
 Mizar & Alcor  ✔   ✔ 
 The Double Double  ✔   ✔ 
 The Ring Nebula  ✔ 
 The Coathanger  ✔ 
 Albireo  ✔   ✔ 
 Andromeda Galaxy  ✔   ✔   ✔ 
 δ Cephei  ✔   ✔ 
 Algol the Demon Star  ✔   ✔ 
 Double Cluster  ✔   ✔ 
 M15 (Globular Cluster)  ✔   ✔ 


 
Back to Stargazing Home Page On to Polar Constellations

Links

Goddard Space Flight Center Hubble Site The best Hubble web site in my "hubble" opinion

The SEDS Messier Catalog -- a great reference for more information and images of the Messier Catalog deep sky objects.

Views of the Solar System Excellent reference on the solar system, well organized and packed with goodies.


Questions

Your questions and comments regarding the Stargazing section are welcome. You can e-mail the author, Randy Culp for inquiries, suggestions, new ideas or just to chat.
Updated 12 June 2019