α Pegasi

Alpha Pegasi is Markab, ‘saddle’. The 2.5 magnitude star forms the southwest corner of the Great Square of Pegasus, easiest to find with the naked eye.

This Great Square is formed by delta Pegasi (Alpheratz) to the northeast, Scheat (beta Pegasi) to the northwest, Markab to the southwest, and Algenib (gamma Pegasi) to the southeast. The stars are all about ten degrees apart, just wide enough a separation not to be able to include even two members in the same binocular field. Thus the naked eye is the best way to see the Great Square.

The square first appears in mid-summer, between Deneb (alpha Cygni) and the horizon. If you look due east early in the wee hours you'll find it standing tilted on gamma with Scheat (beta Peg) to the north of it. By the second week in September the square has righted itself and is found due south around midnight.

Markab is about ten degrees southwest of delta Pegasi (alpha Andromedae): binoculars.

In the same field of view is Struve 2986: 6.6, 8.9; 268º, 3.8".

If you move to the west-southwest the same distance from delta Pegasi to alpha you'll encounter the brightest star in Pegasus, epsilon (Enif).

Click on this star on the map to continue.

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© 1998-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.