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Constellation Bootes (Herdsman)

Constellation Bootes (Herdsman)

The constellation of the Herdsman (lat. Bootes) extends with 907 square degrees in the northern hemisphere. The Latin name comes from ancient Greek and means "plowing with bulls", which refers to the Herdsman. Bootes contains many binary stars and very bright stars, such as the main star Arcturus, a red giant star of the first magnitude. In addition, the radiant of the Quadrantids is located in the constellation, which allows to observe 40 to 200 meteors per hour at the beginning of each year.

How to spot Bootes

Bootes is best seen during spring. Its brightest stars form a shape reminiscent of an ice cream cone. Extending the Big Dipper, you can see the reddish glowing star Arctur, which is the brightest star of the entire northern hemisphere. The constellation is also near the Virgo, Hercules and the Dragon.


According to a Roman writer, the constellation is connected to Icarus. He was an avid student of winemaking. He was so convinced of his first self-made wine that on a journey he offered it to some thirsty shepherds and herdsmen. Due to the heat, however, they drank so much that they confused their level of alcohol with a poisoning attempt and murdered Icarus. His body was buried in the forest, where later found his little dog and his daughter Erigone.