α Lacertae

The lizard's asterism moves from 4 Lacertae to alpha Lacertae: binoculars.

Fittingly, alpha is the brightest star in Lacerta at 3.8 magnitude. It is an optical double with an extremely faint companion: 3.8, 11.8; 286, 46.1".

The open cluster NGC 7243 is 2 west of alpha; composed of around fifty blue and white stars, fairly dispersed, with an apparent magnitude of 6.4. Unimpressive in binoculars, with a medium telescope it becomes somewhat more interesting. The main reason for studying this cluster is to find its brightest member, the delightful multiple binary Struve 2890:

A small group of stars make a triangle near the cluster's centre; the southeastern member of this group is Struve 2890:
      AB: 9.4, 9.7; 11, 9.4".
      AC: 9.4, 9.4; 277, 73.0".

The star at the northern edge here, beta Lacertae, is a yellow giant which marks the head of the lizard.

All files associated with The Constellations Web Page are
1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.