Dad-stronomy 101: Gamma Cassiopeiae

GAMMA CASSIOPEIAE Location: Cassiopeia Constellation Classification: Eruptive variable star Distance: ~550 light-years Alternate Names: Tsih, Navi (after US astronaut Virgil Ivan Grissom's middle name spelled backwards) Apparent Magnitude: 2.47 Meaning of Name: in Chinese, it is named "the whip" Fun Facts: located as the center of the "W" asterism it's rapid rotational velocity gives it an … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Gamma Cassiopeiae


Dad-stronomy 101: Pollux

POLLUX Location: Gemini Constellation Classification: Giant Star Distance: ~34 light-years Alternate Names: Beta Geminorum Apparent Magnitude: 1.1 Meaning of Name: refers specifically to the twins of Roman and Greek mythology Fun Facts: the brightest star in the constellation Gemini 17th-brightest star in the night sky in 2006, it was confirmed that Pollux has an extrasolar planet, Pullux … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Pollux

Dad-stronomy 101: Regulus

REGULUS Location: Leo Constellation Classification: Blue-White B Star Distance: ~79 light-years Alternate Names: Alpha Leonis, Lion's Heart Apparent Magnitude: 1.40 Meaning of Name: Latin for "prince" or "little king" Fun Facts: the brightest star in the constellation Leo and 21st-brightest in the night sky Regulus depicts Leo the Lion's heart Regulus is made of two stars, Regulus A … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Regulus

Dad-stronomy 101: Capella

CAPELLA Location: Auriga Constellation Classification: Variable Binary Star Distance: ~42 light-years Alternate Names: Alpha Aurigae, Goat Star Apparent Magnitude: 0.08 Meaning of Name: Latin for "small female goat" Fun Facts: the brightest object in the constellation Auriga and sixth-brightest in the night sky Capella appears as a yellow or golden star Capella A and Capella B emit 80 … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Capella

Dad-stronomy 101: Aldebaran

ALDEBARAN Location: Taurus Constellation Classification: K5 III star (orange giant star) Distance: ~65 light-years Alternate Names: Alpha Tauri, "the fiery eye of the Bull" Apparent Magnitude: 1.0 Meaning of Name: Arabic for "the Follower" Fun Facts: the brightest object in the constellation Taurus the helium core has ignited a shell of hydrogen outside the core, making it a red … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Aldebaran

Dad-stronomy 101: Pleiades

PLEIADES Location: Taurus Constellation Classification: Open Star Cluster Distance: ~444 light years Alternate Names: "M45" and "Seven Sisters" Apparent Magnitude: 1.6 Meaning of Name: Greek derived from plein, "to sail" Fun Facts: among the nearest star clusters to Earth is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars formed … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Pleiades

Dad-stronomy 101: Betegeuse

BETELGEUSE Location: Orion Constellation Classification: Semi-regular Variable Star (varying brightness) Distance: ~498 light-years Alternate Names: "Alpha Orionis" Apparent Magnitude: 0.4 Meaning of Name: Arabic for "the axilla of Orion" Fun Facts: ninth-brightest star in Earth's night sky and second-brightest in Orion Constellation (Rigel) classified as a red supergiant one of the largest and most luminous stars … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Betegeuse

Dad-stronomy 101: Sirius

SIRIUS Location: Canis Major Constellation (Greater Dog) Classification: Spectroscopic Binary Distance: ~9 light-years Alternate Names: "Dog Star" Apparent Magnitude: -1.5 Meaning of Name: Greek for "scorcher" or "glowing" Fun Facts: brightest star in Earth's night sky is actually a binary star (Sirius A, Sirius B) Sirius A is twice as massive as the Sun will … Continue reading Dad-stronomy 101: Sirius

Become a dad-stronomer!

Despite getting a D in Astronomy while in college and having a telescope I had to have but never use, I've found all I really need to be a dad-stronomer is simple: kid(s) and a free app. The app is SkyView Free. It allows you point your phone's camera skyward and view the entire night sky. There's also a … Continue reading Become a dad-stronomer!