α Ceti

Alpha Ceti is ‘Menkar’, the nose of the whale. Or perhaps the sea beast, as it was often depicted.

The star, not quite as bright as beta--to the south--is quickly found by examining the night sky with the naked eye. First locate Aldebaran (alpha Tauri) then to the west Hamal (alpha Arietis). Menkar is to the south, making a triangle: naked eye.

Alpha and gamma are in the same field (barely): binoculars.

The beast's head is too large for binocular viewing, but the stars are bright enough for the naked eye: head, from the neck (delta) to its single horn (xi1).

Starting at gamma now starhop down the body of the whale.

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