Hercules (constellation). As before called the constellation Hercules
Every day, looking up at the sky, we haveThe opportunity to watch one of the most beautiful creatures of nature - behind the stars. From ancient times, stars attracted people. Looking at these heavenly lights, our ancestors tried to explain their origin and looked for something earthly in them. Their imagination connected a cluster of stars and drew a variety of earthly objects, animals and heroes. So there were names of different constellations - Libra, Cassiopeia, Cancer, Leo and so on. In the hot June night, looking up, we can observe how the ancient hero Hercules leaned on his knees. This constellation can not be recognized.
Location in the sky
Hercules is a constellation that we see in the spring andin summer. In June, it is located almost at the highest point of the celestial sphere. The neighboring clusters of stars are Bootes and Lira. To learn Hercules is easy on its central part - the trapezoid, which is formed by four stars. This part of the figure is often called the torso of the great hero. All the inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere can observe this constellation; in the Southern hemisphere it can be seen only partially. This combination of celestial lights occupies a rather large area and consists of about two hundred stars that a person can observe without the aid of any technique. Another feature of Hercules is that it contains the apex of our Sun. Apex is the point to which the velocity vector of our native star is directed.
History of discovery
Hercules is a constellation whose history goes intoancient antiquity. In the 3rd century BC. e. Ancient Greek astronomer Arat finished his work called "Phenomena", in which he speaks of a figure conveying the image of a suffering man on his knees. Therefore, the constellation Hercules was called Knee-bent. The same name was indicated in the catalog of heavenly bodies of Claudius Ptolemy, which was called "Almagest". But two centuries before, the Greeks already knew about this constellation and called it Hercules, and the Romans - Hercules, the son of the great god-thunderer Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene.
Mythical origin of the name
Greek mythology tells us about the greatthe hero of Hercules, who was a demigod. When he lived on Earth, he performed many brave acts. They include rescuing people and destroying the horrible monsters that threatened everyone. The most striking legend about the adventures of this hero is the story of 12 exploits. He tells us that the stepmother of Hercules, the great goddess Hera, did not like him very much. Because of her, he committed a great sin and had to redeem him by serving with Eurystheus. He tried to entrust to Hercules impracticable tasks, and the hero with honor all passed and took. At the end of the life of Hercules, the gods decided that he was worthy to become one of them. So in the sky appeared another constellation, which to this day in its place.
The brightest star
Hercules - the constellation, the brightest starwhich is Corneforos, or β Her. On the scale of stellar brightness, it has a value of 2.8. In fact, this is not one, but two gravitationally connected stars. Its name from Ancient Greek is translated as the carrier of the club. The brightness of this star is 175 times greater than the brightness of the Sun. The distance between Corneforos and Earth is 148 light years. Another sign of Beta Hercules is that it has a visual companion. It is invisible to the human eye and only spectroscopic analysis tells us about its existence.
The biggest star
The largest known star in the constellationHercules is the star of UW Her. It is located on the north-eastern peak of the so-called torso of Hercules or Keystone. The nearest to it is π Her. UW Her is a variable star with a long period of change in its brightness, which is 100 days. During this time, it can change its brightness by 0.9 magnitude (8.6-9.5).
Hercules is a constellation whose main luminaryis Ras-Algeti, or α Her. It has 3.1-3.9 magnitude magnitudes. This difference is caused by the fact that it has the property of changing its luster in a period of 90 days. In terms of brightness, alpha is second only to Corneforos. It is triple and consists of a red supergiant and a smaller star, which is also divided into a white-yellow dwarf and a yellow giant. Ras-Algeti from Arabic means "the head of the Knee", as it is in the head of Hercules. The distance from the Sun to this star is 380 light years.
The pearl of Hercules
In Hercules there is a cluster of stars, whichstriking with its beauty. It is an ornament of the entire Northern Hemisphere. This is the so-called M13, or the Great Globular Cluster of Hercules. It was discovered in 1714 by E. Halley. It was located in the west of the Cornerstone, between η and ζ Her. To see this miracle of nature, any instrument, whether it's binoculars or a small telescope, will do, and if you're lucky, you can see without instruments at all.
M13 has the shape of a ball, it is unusually bright. From the center to the edges, the cluster light gradually fades. As already mentioned above, you can observe it with the help of anything, but the better the quality of the instrument, the more you can consider. It has in its composition a couple of hundred thousand stars. The distance from M13 to the Earth is 25 thousand light years. By a detailed consideration of the cluster, one can notice the so-called Propeller region, which has no stars. Scientists have not yet managed to find out how this formation originated, and its nature remains unsolved.
A lot of surprising and mysterious conceals in itselfconstellation Hercules. The stars in it are amazing and diverse. For example, the second, no less interesting globular cluster M92, or Messier 92. His pioneer was E. Bode, who in 1777 drew attention to him. But in 1781, not knowing about the first discovery, as it happened in those days, it was rediscovered by Messier. He also introduced the M92 in the catalog, and it is named after him. The distance from the Earth to M92 is 26 thousand light years. Under favorable conditions, it can be seen with the naked eye. In size it is smaller than M13, but this cluster is also an ornament of the Northern Hemisphere and Hercules.
Accumulation NGC 6229
If you look at the M92 in the North-Westdirection, you can stumble upon another cluster of stars NGC 6229, the second designation is GCL 47. It can also be observed by anyone with a simple technique. Opened this globular cluster of U. Herschel in 1787. Its apparent stellar magnitude is 9.4 magnitude. The original version of the "New Common Catalog" contains data on NGC 6229.
The Turtle Nebula
The "Turtle" planetary nebula, or NGC 6210,is located in the north-eastern part of Hercules. V. Ya. Struve opened it in 1825. It is located at a distance of 6.5 thousand light years from us. To view the beauty of this object, you need a telescope. Through its glass, a person opens up an extraordinary beauty and a greenish-blue color. On the scale of stellar magnitudes, "Turtle" has an indicator of 8.8 magnitude. It is interesting that this nebula contains very little nebular gas, habitual for such celestial objects. The center of NGC 6210 is a star, it also formed it.
Thus, people from antiquity knew about the congestionstars in the sky, and often they were not called as they are now. If you ask how the constellation Hercules was called before, the documents found show that his former name is Knee-bent. This hero was exalted in the eyes of a common man, for which he was elevated to the pantheon of the gods. Modern scientists are also scrutinizing this enchanting constellation. They learned a lot of interesting things, for example, that the biggest star in the constellation of Hercules is UW Her. But not only is it the object of admiration in this cluster, which makes us look again and again to the heavenly heights.