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A Field Book of the Stars/Hercules

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HERCULES (her'-kū-lēz)—THE KNEELER.

Location.—A line drawn from either Vega, in Lyra, or Altair, in Aquila, to Gemma, in Corona Borealis, passes through this constellation. The left foot of Hercules rests on the head of Draco, on the north, and his head nearly touches the head of Ophiuchus on the south.

The star in the head of Hercules, Ras Algethi, is about 25 degrees southeast of Corona Borealis.

Ras Alhague, the head of Ophiuchus, and Ras Algethi are only about 5 degrees apart.

The cluster 13 M, the Halley Nebula, can be easily seen in binoculars. It contains fourteen thousand stars, according to Herschel.

Hercules occupies the part of the heavens toward which the sun is bearing the earth and planets at the rate of one hundred and sixty million miles a year.

On a clear night the asterism Cerberus, the three-headed dog, which Hercules holds in his hand, can be seen.

The belt of Hercules lies just east of the Crown.

This constellation is said to have been an object of worship in Phœnicia.

The principal stars in the constellation form a rude letter "H" the short cross-stroke being the imaginary line drawn from ε to ζ.

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