Abbreviation: Â Aur
English Name: Â The Charioteer
Genitive:Â Aurigae or Capella
Hemisphere:Â Â Northern Hemisphere
Location:Â Between the constellations of Taurus and Camelopardis.
Visible between latitudes: Â +90 and -40 degrees
Best season: Winter
Seen in three seasons:Â Autumn, Winter and Spring
Best seen in:Â January/February
Seen between:Â October and March
Right Ascension (RA):Â Â 06 hour
Declination (DEC):Â Â +40 degrees
Area (square degrees): Â 657Â (21st)
Aurgia (The Charioteer)
- A large constellation – containing the brightest star, Capella (Alpha Aurigae).
- The sixth brightest star in the night sky, at magnitude +0.1.
- To the naked-eye, it’s appearing yellow; consisting of two yellow-coloured giants Â stars that orbit each other every 104 days.
- Capella is circumpolar anywhere north of 50 degrees latitude.
- The Milky Way passes through it, so the area contains several Open ClustersÂ – Messier 36, Messier 37 and Messier 38.
- M36 – Small bright Open Cluster, readily visible in binoculars.
- M37 – Very Large Open Cluster, almost the diameter of the Full Moon – hazy spot in binoculars, but resolves into a large numbers of stars by a telescope.
- M38 – Slightly fainter than M36, but is larger – sometimes be resolved with binoculars.
Other objects in Auriga
- 22x objects:Â Â New General CatalogueÂ (NGC)
- 7x objects:Â Â Index CatalogueÂ (IC)
- 14x objects:Â Â Collinder CatalogÂ (Cr)
Features of Interest
- NGC2281 – an other Open Cluster visible in binoculars.
- IC 405 – Flaming Star Nebula showing the “smoke” of reflection nebula; use an OIII or H-Beta filter if possible.
- CapellaÂ (Alpha Aur)
- MenkalinanÂ (Beta Aur)
- Al AnzÂ (Epsilon Aur)
- HaediÂ (Zeta Aur)
- Hoedus IIÂ (Eta Aur)
- HassalehÂ (Iota Aur)
- Photo of the constellation â€“Â Auriga, as it appears to the naked-eye (Lines have been added for clarity.)
- Sky Chart – Auriga
- List of stars in Auriga.
Back to Â The 88 Constellations Lists page.