Transit Date of principal star:
14 July

Vulpecula, The Fox, is one of Johannes Hevelius' constellations, introduced in his posthumously published star catalogue of 1690. (See "Lacerta" for comments on Hevelius.) The asterism resembles more a flying gull seen face on.

The constellation was originally called Vulpecula cum Anser, The Fox and Goose. This is a rather faint constellation, with most stars of the fourth and fifth magnitude. There is only one Bayer star.

Vulpecula has several objects of interest: a fine binary, a couple of variables, and even a Messier object.

Double stars:

Alpha Vulpeculae may be only optical (observers differ on this point).
AB: 4.6, 6.0; PA 28, separation 13.7".
16 Vulpeculae is a close binary with nearly equal components: 5.9, 6.3; PA 115, separation 0.8".

Struve 2525 is a fine binary with orbit of 990 years; the 2000 values are: 8.5, 8.7; PA 291, 2.1". The binary lies between beta Cygni and 3 Vulpeculae.

Variable stars:

R Vulpeculae is a Mira type variable with range of 7.4 to 13.7 every 137 days.

T Vulpeculae is a cepheid: 5.4 to 6.1 every 4.43 days.

Deep Sky Objects:

M27 (NGC 6853), "The Dumbbell Nebula" is a noted planetary nebula, large, bright, and oddly shaped (thus its name). It glows with a faintly green colour.

The nebula is found midway between 12 Vul and 17 Vul and about half a degree to the south. (14 Vul is in the same field, just to the NNW).
NGC 6940 is an open cluster of about a hundred stars, found just midway between 23 Vul and 32 Vul, and a half degree to the north.

For more on Vulpecula visit the Binocular Section.

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