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Vulpecula is a faint constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for "little fox", although it is commonly known simply as the fox. It was identified in the seventeenth century, and is located in the middle of the Summer Triangle(an asterism consisting of the bright stars Deneb, Vega and Altair).Vulpecula is also home to HD 189733 b, one of the closest extrasolar planet currently being studied by the Spitzer Space Telescope. On 12 July 2007 the Financial Times(London) reported that the chemical signature of water vapour was detected in the atmosphere of this planet. [1]

Deep-sky objects

Two well-known deep-sky objects can be found in Vulpecula. The Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27), is a large, bright planetary nebula which was discovered by the French astronomer Charles Messier in 1764 as the very first object of its kind. It can be seen with good binoculars in a dark sky location, appearing as a dimly glowing disk approximately 6 arcminutes in diameter. A telescope reveals its double-lobed shape, similar to that of an hourglass. Brocchi's Cluster (Collinder 399) is an asterism formerly thought to be an open cluster. It is also called "the Coathanger" because of its distinctive star pattern when viewed with binoculars or a low power telescope.

NGC 7052 is an edge-on spiral galaxy in Vulpecula at a distance of 214 million light-years from Earth. It has a central dusty disk with a diameter of 3700 light-years; there is a supermassive black hole with a mass of 300 million solar masses in its nucleus. Astronomers surmise that the disk is the remnant of a smaller galaxy that merged with NGC 7052. Jets can be seen emanating from the galaxy, and it has very strong radio emissions. This means that it is also classified as a radio galaxy.

The eastern part of Vulpecula is occupied by the Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall. It is a galaxy filament, with the length of 3,000 megaparsecs, making it the largest structure in the universe.[2]


Sidney Hall - Urania's Mirror - Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser.jpg

In the late 17th century, the astronomer Johannes Hevelius created Vulpecula. It was originally known as Vulpecula cum ansere ("the little fox with the goose") or Vulpecula et Anser ("the little fox and the goose"), and was illustrated with a goose in the jaws of a fox. Hevelius did not regard the fox and the goose to be two separate constellations, but later the stars were divided into a separate Anser and Vulpecula. Today, they have been merged again under the name of the fox, but the goose is remembered by the name of the star α Vulpeculae.[3]

HGS Session References

HGS Sessions - Clearing Germanwings Crash, French Alps - 3/24/2015 [4]HGS Sessions - Clearing El Obour City, Cairo Governorate, Egypt - 4/2/2015 [5]


  1. Vulpecula
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  5. HGS Session

Found in HGS Manual on Page 108 Found in HGS Manual on Page 115