The Northern Crown is a beautiful star pattern in May
The Northern Crown graces the summer skies
Tonight, look for a constellation that’s easy to see on the sky’s dome, if your sky is dark enough. Corona Borealis – aka the Northern Crown – is exciting to find. In fact, it’s easy to pick out as an almost-perfect semicircle of stars. And you’ll find this beautiful star pattern in the evening sky from now until October.
Plus, the constellation Corona Borealis is easy to find since it’s located more or less along a line between two bright stars. The first is Arcturus in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman and the second is Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp.
But you’ll need a fairly dark sky to see Corona Borealis between Vega and Arcturus. Then, once you find the semicircle of stars, it’s very noticeable.
The brightest star of the Northern Crown
The brightest star in Corona Borealis is Alphecca, also known as Gemma, sometimes called the Pearl of the Crown. As a matter of fact, the name Alphecca originated with a description of Corona Borealis as the “broken one.” This was in reference to the fact that these stars appear in a semicircle, rather than a full circle. Alphecca is a blue-white star, with an intrinsic luminosity some 60 times that of our sun. And it’s located about 75 light-years from Earth.
Some images from our EarthSky Community Photos
Bottom line: Look for Corona Borealis – the Northern Crown – between the brilliant stars Arcturus and Vega tonight! In fact, this constellation is very noticeable, if you have a dark sky.