The Celestial Sphere from Latitude 45° North

1100 Hours Sidereal Time

The sky from 45°N at 1100 hours sidereal time

This page contains a description of the stars, constellations, and deep-sky objects that can be seen in the sky at around 1100 hours sidereal time. It is assumed that the observer is located at approximately 45° latitude north.

To use the sky map, orient it so that the direction you are facing is at the bottom of the map. Zenith, the point directly overhead in the sky, is located at the centre of the map.

Looking North

Ursa Major takes pride of place practically at zenith. The 'Big Dipper' or 'Plough' asterism is always easy to locate. The star at the bend of the handle, Mizar, has a faint companion, Alcor, which can be seen by the naked eye if the sky is dark. The two stars at the end of the bowl of the 'Big Dipper' point to Polaris. This second magnitude star is the brightest object in Ursa Minor and is very nearly the exact position of the north celestial pole. Draco is rotating higher into the sky. His 'lozenge'-shaped head is keeping an eye on Vega in the constellation Lyra.

Below Ursa Minor is Cepheus, just barely above the horizon. Also low in the sky is the M- or W-shaped Cassiopeia, just west of Cepheus. Following the horizon around to the west finds Perseus and then Taurus which is preparing to set. The bright star close to the horizon in Taurus is Aldebaran which should not be confused with the bright star higher up in the west. This is Capella in the constellation Auriga.

Turning now to the northeast, two bright stars are just making an appearance very near to the horizon. Deneb of the constellation Cygnus is the lowest with bright Vega farther around to the east. Hercules is also making his appearance in the east. The 'Keystone' of Hercules contains M13, the Great Globular Cluster, which appears as a fuzzy patch to the naked eye but resolves into a spherical cluster of stars in a telescope.

Looking South

Following an arc made by the handle of the 'Big Dipper' leads to Arcturus in Boötes and directly below is another bright star, Spica, in the otherwise unexceptional Virgo. Following in the wake of Boötes is the small but easily seen half-circle of Corona Borealis.

Leo dominates the sky high in the south with little in the way of bright stars below. Regulus stands at the bottom of the 'Sickle' of Leo which looks rather like a backward question mark. Faint Cancer with its Beehive Cluster (M44) lies just west of Leo.

The winter constellations are disappearing below the horizon. The bright star just visible on the western horizon is Sirius in Canis Major. Above the 'Dog Star' is another 'dog star' Procyon in Canis Minor, and high in the western sky stands Gemini with Castor and Pollux marking the heads of the twins. Little remains of Orion in the west. Betelgeuse is sinking rapidly.