Constellation tour in Winter
Gemini (The Twins)

Date & Time: Dec 27 2003, 26:26 JST(+0900), 25min. Exp.
Optical: SMC TAKUMAR f=105mm F2.4, Aperture: F4.0, with Cokin Diffuser-1 filter
Auto-guided with TAKAHASHI EM-200 Equatorial
Camera: PENTAX 67
Film: Ektachrome E200 (+1EV pushed)
Location: Ooizumi vil., Yamanashi pref.

ASCII/Astroarts StellaNavigator
Gemini, the Twins, is an only half-brothers. They share the same mother (Leda) and different fathers. Castor's father was Tyndareus, a king of Sparta, and the father of Pollux was Zeus.
Alpha Geminorum Castor marks the head of older, and beta Gem Pollux indicates that of shorter. But Pollux is the brighter of the two stars with a visual magnitude of 1.2, and Castor has a magnitude of 1.6.
Castor is a well-known binary system with visual magnitudes are 2.0 and 2.9, and known that they are spectroscopic binary each other. In fact, the entire system is comprised of six stars, including another spectroscopic binary system of red dwarfs with a magnitude of 9, that revolving around visual binary system.
The constellation is also famous for a major meteoric swarm, alpha Geminids, has the peak of appearance around Dec 13 every year. It shows as many meteors as Gamma Persei.

Guide for Deep Sky Objects

M35 .....Open Cluster at Castor's feet, 2600 ly. away
IC443 .....Reddish supernova remnant at the legs of Castor
NGC2371 .....Tiny planetary nebula squeezed between Castor & Pollux
Eskimo Nebula .....Compact planetary nebula 4 deg. ESE of delta Gem, 1360 ly. away
NGC2420 .....Small open cluster on the ecliptic, 4 deg. east of delta Gem
Sh2-253 .....Dimmed diffused nebula near a border to Orion
Medusa Nebula .....A planetary nebula with 5' diameter near a boundary on Canis Minor

Canis Minor


Copyright(c) 2004 by Naoyuki Kurita, All rights reserved.
To top page To Constellations index