AURIGA (â-ri´-ga)—THE CHARIOTEER. (Face Northwest.)
Location.—A line drawn from ? to ? Ursæ Majoris, and prolonged about 45°, ends near the bright Capella, in Auriga, a star of the first magnitude, and one of the most brilliant in the heavens. It is unmistakable, having no rival in brightness near it. Auriga is a beautiful and conspicuous constellation. It is characterized by a clearly defined pentagon. Note the three fourth-magnitude stars near Capella known as “The Kids.” The star ? is common to Auriga and Taurus, being the former’s right foot and the latter’s northern horn. The field within the pentagon is particularly rich in clusters. Capella forms a rude square with Polaris, ? Cassiopeiæ, and ? Ursæ Majoris, and forms an equilateral triangle with Betelgeuze in Orion, and the Pleiades in Taurus.
A line from ? to ? Aurigæ prolonged about 20° ends near ? Persei.
Capella is visible at some hour of every clear night throughout the year. Of the first-magnitude stars it is nearest to the Pole, and it rises almost exactly in the northeast.
To the Arabs Capella was “The Driver,” because it seemed to rise earlier than the other stars and so apparently watched over them, or still more practically as “The Singer” who rode before the procession cheering on the camels, which last were represented by the Pleiades.