Beta Monocerotis

β Monocerotis

Beta Monocerotis is a superb triple system for small telescopes -- three gleaming blue-white stars (although you may find some difference of opinion, particularly on cloudy nights when they may seem more bluish). They are in the form of a soft curve, one of the best triples in the heavens:
     AB: 4.6, 5.0; 133, 20.2".
      AC: 4.6, 5.4; 126, 9.6". (You'll need a bit more magnification to split this one.)

The three make a kind of celestial dance; B and C orbiting each other while the primary orbits the two components.

Southwest of beta about a degree is Struve 914: 6.3, 9.3; 299, 21.0".

But before we go north, the rest of the southerly stars should be pointed out.

With the naked eye, from beta sweep slowly toward Procyon. A little over halfway is delta, a fourth-magnitude star. Click on delta to continue investigating Monoceros.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.