CORONA BOREALIS (k?-r?´nä b?-r?-a´-lis)—THE NORTHERN CROWN.
Location.—A line drawn from ? Cygni, to ? Lyræ, and projected a little over 40°, terminates in the Crown, which lies between Hercules and Boötes, and just above the diamond-shaped group of stars in the head of the Serpent.
The characteristic semicircle resembling a crown is easily traced out. The principal stars are of the fourth magnitude excepting Gemma, which is a second-magnitude star and known as the “Pearl of the Crown.”
Gemma, sometimes called Alphacca, forms with the stars Seginus and Arcturus, in Boötes, an isosceles triangle, the vertex of which is at Arcturus.
Close to ? a famous temporary appeared suddenly May 12, 1866, as a second-magnitude star. It was known as the “Blaze Star” and was visible to the naked eye only eight days, fading at that time to a tenth-magnitude star, and then rising to an eighth-magnitude, where it still remains.
The native Australians called this constellation “The Boomerang.” To the Hebrews it was “Ataroth” and by this name it is known in the East to-day. No two of the seven stars composing the Crown are moving in the same direction or at the same rate.
? Coronæ is seventy-eight light years distant and sixty times brighter than the sun.