Boötes Constellation History, Location, How To View

Boötes Constellation: History, Location, How to View

Our universe contains various small and large constellations. Boötes is located in the northern hemisphere. Boötes is a Greek word which can be translated as the herdsman or ox-driver. It is pronounced as “boh-OH-teez” and the two dots over the “o” is an indication for pronouncing both O’s separately.

It is the thirteenth-largest constellation in the sky and contains Arcturus star, which is one of the brightest stars.

History of Boötes Constellation

The first catalogue of Boötes constellation was presented in the 2nd century by Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer. However, this constellation also dates back to around 3000 years ago in the Odyssey of Homer, according to astronomers. Homer used the name Boötes for the first time in his Odyssey for celestial point of reference for “slow to set” navigation which was interpreted as the Plowman. During those times, the ancient Greeks did not have accurate knowledge about the origin of this constellation.

Moreover, ancient Babylonians named the stars of Boötes as SHU.PA. While in ancient Egypt, Berio denoted Boötes by the constellation of animal foreleg that resembles an ox anticipated as the “foreleg of ox”.

What is the English Name for Boötes Constellation?

Boötes Constellation is known as “Herdsman” in English.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Boötes Constellation?

Boötes has three myths associated with it. The first one represents Arcas, who was the son of the god Zeus and goddess Callisto. Callisto was transformed into a bear by Hera who was also Zeus’s wife. During his adulthood, one day, when Arcas was in woods, he came across a bear and decided to chase it. The bear was his mother, Callisto. Zeus placed both Callisto and Arcas in the sky to avoid tragedy.

The second myth is about a grape grower, Icarius. In this myth, Dionysus had given Icarius the secret of winemaking. One night, Icarius’ friends had over drunk the wine and the next day convicted Icarius for poisoning them and murdered Icarius. When the Dionysus heard the news, he placed him as a star in the heavens.

Finally, in the third myth Boötes is credited with creating the plough. As an honour, Ceres placed him in the heavens for his significant invention.

How to Find Boötes Constellation?

To quickly locate Boötes constellation, you should follow some necessary steps.

  • First, locate the Big Dipper constellation, which is in the north.
  • When you find Big Dripper, you will see an arc made through the handle of Dipper. Start following the arc.
  • Keep following it until you find a bright star. The more shining star is Arcturus. When you locate Arcturus, you can easily locate other stars of Boötes which are in kite’s shape.

What is the Area of Boötes Constellation?

Boötes has a total area of 906.831 square degrees.

What Quadrant is Boötes Constellation in?

This constellation is in NQ3, which means northern hemisphere’s third quadrant.

What Latitudes is Boötes Constellation Visible in?

You can locate Boötes between the latitude of +90° and -50°. It has eight neighbouring constellations which are:

  • Canes Venatici
  • Coma Berenices
  • Corona Borealis
  • Draco
  • Hercules
  • Serpens Caput
  • Virgo
  • Ursa Major

What Type of Telescope if best for Viewing Boötes Constellation?

Since Boötes is among the largest constellations, you can easily view it from an ordinary and small telescope. You will not need any special telescope for this.


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