Bootes is a northern constellation, half of it is circumpolar. The name refers to the Plowman, where the plow is the "Big Dipper" in Ursa Major. The swedish name "Bear guardian" is from another greek story including Ursa major and Ursa Minor. Yet another story connects it with Canis Major and Canis Minor. The constellation does not contain any notable objects, except for the bright star in the northern sky, Arcturus (Bear guardian). Without experience, Arcturus can easily be mistaken for a planet (especially Venus) in the evenings of the late summer in Sweden although the star is actually about 30 degrees above the ecliptic in that part of the sky. Three reasons for this is that the ecliptic is always close to the horizon during the bright summer nights so planets are seldom noticed at all. Venus can often be seen as the evening star, bright, alone, not too far from the sunset and not too high in the sky. Arcturus happens to be bright, not too high, quite alone, and not too far from the sunset in the late summer. Further more, if Venus is "to the left of the Sun" it sets almost at the same time as the Sun, and not many would notice a morning Venus during this time of the year, thus it is difficult to make a comparison.
Back to Westerlund telescope main page.