Corona Borealis Constellation Worksheets

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Key Facts & Information

  • Corona Borealis is a small constellation and is considered the 73rd largest constellation located in the northern hemisphere. “Corona Borealis” is the Latin name for Northern Crown, inspired by the constellation’s brightest stars that form a semicircular arc. Northern Crown is best viewed during the month of July.
  • It is one of the 88 modern constellations and it is also listed in the 2nd-century Almagest, which was written by Ptolemy.
  • This constellation belongs to the Ursa Major family along with Draco, Leo Minor, Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Camelopardalis, Coma Berenices, Canes Venatici and Bootes.

Did You Know?

  • Corona Borealis was called Caer Arianrhod, which is the Castle of the Silver Circle in Welsh Mythology
  • Ancient Balts associated the constellation with Darzelis, the flower garden.
  • Corona Borealis is called “womera” (the boomerang) in Australian Aboriginal astronomy because of the shape of the stars.

History And Mythology

  • Corona Borealis is believed to be a crown studded with jewels from India and was made by Hephaestus, the god of fire.
  • There are many stories associated with it, but the story of Ariadne, Theseus and Dionysus is the most popular.
  • King Minos of Crete had a daughter named Ariadne.
  • Ariadne was the one who helped Theseus slay the Minotaur, a creature with a bull’s head on a human body.
  • The mother of Ariadne was the one who gave birth to the creature by copulating with a bull, so technically, Ariadne was a half-sister to the Minotaur.
  • King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth made by the craftsman Daedalus to hide the family’s shame.
  • The labyrinth was a maze so complex that no one, not even the Minotaur could go out once they went inside.
  • Theseus, the son of King Aegeus of Athens, was a strong handsome man who came to Crete one day.
  • Ariadne fell in love with him at first sight.
  • Theseus offered to kill the Minotaur and Ariadne helped him by consulting Daedalus.
  • Daedalus gave her a ball of thread and he told Theseus that he should tie one end of the thread at the opening of the labyrinth and hold onto  the thread while making his way inside.
  • With his bare hands, Theseus killed the Minotaur and went out of the Labyrinth by following the thread.
  • After that, Theseus and Ariadne fled, but when they reached the island of Naxos, he abandoned her.
  • Alone, Ariadne was cursing Theseus for leaving her when Dionysus saw her, he fell in love and married her on the spot.
  • The crown was believed to be given by Aphrodite as a wedding present.
  • After the wedding, Dionysus joyfully tossed the crown into the sky and the jewels of the crown turned into stars.

Stars

  • The constellation of Corona Borealis currently has 5 among its 8 main stars that host planets.
  • Corona Borealis contains a number of important stars and star systems, but it has no Messier objects and meteor showers associated with it.
  • ALPHECCA
    • Alphecca, designated as Alpha Coronae Borealis is an eclipsing binary star located about 75 light-years away from the Sun.
    • The star system has an apparent magnitude of 2.23 and an absolute magnitude of 0.16.
    • Its components orbit each other every 17.3599 days.
    • Alphecca A, the primary star, is a white main-sequence star with a solar mass of 2.58 and a solar radius of 2.89.
    • It is 74 times brighter than the Sun with a temperature of 9,700 K.
    • Excess infrared radiation is discovered around the primary star suggesting a disc of dust surrounding Alphecca, similar to that of Vega.
    • Alphecca B, the companion star, is a yellow main-sequence star with a solar mass of 0.92 and a solar radius of 0.90.
    • The companion star has a temperature of 5,800 K.
    • Alphecca Gemma, the traditional name for Alphecca, means “the bright star of the broken ring of stars” in Arabic.
    • Gemma, on the other hand means jewel and Alphecca is often associated with Venus and Mercury for conveying honor dignity and artistic ability.
    • Alpha Corona Borealis belongs in the Chinese asterism called “Coiled Thong” together with Pi, Theta, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Iota, and Rho Coronae Borealis making it “The Fourth Star of Coiled Thong”.
  • NUSAKAN
    • Nusakan, designated as Beta Coronae Borealis, is a binary star 112 light-years from the Sun.
    • Beta Coronae Borealis can be seen with the naked eye with an apparent magnitude varying from 3.65 to 3.72.
    • The system has an orbital period of about 10.27 years.
    • Nusakan A, the primary star, is the brighter component and is a rapidly oscillating Ap star having a period of 16.2 minutes.
    • The star has a solar mass of 2.09 and a solar radius of 2.63.
    • Nusakan B, the companion star, is the smaller main-sequence star with a solar mass of 1.40 and solar radius of 1.56.
    • In Chinese, Beta Corona Borealis is known as “The Third Star of Coiled Thong.”
  • GAMMA CORONA BOREALIS
    • Gamma Coronae Borealis is a binary star system 146 light-years away from our Sun.
    • With an apparent magnitude of 3.83, it is visible to the naked eye.
    • The components of Gamma Coronae Borealis are optically separated by about one arc second away from each other.
    • Both of these components are main-sequence stars, the primary having an absolute magnitude of 4.04, while the other has 5.60.
    • Gamma Corona Borealis A has an estimated solar mass of 2.51 and a temperature of 22 K.
    • The components orbit each other for about 91.2 years.
  • DELTA CORONA BOREALIS
    • Delta Coronae Borealis is a yellow giant variable star 170 light-years away from us.
    • The star has a solar mass of 2.4 and a solar radius of 7.4.
    • It has a surface temperature of 5,180 K.
    • Delta Coronae Borealis used to be a blue-white main-sequence star, but it ran out of hydrogen fuel in its core.
    • The star’s luminosity is 34.3, suggesting that it just finished burning hydrogen in its core and is currently burning the hydrogen in its shell.
    • Its brightness is not constant and the apparent magnitude changes between 4.57 and 4.69 approximately every 45 days.
    • Epsilon Coronae Borealis B, the companion star, is an orange dwarf, which is believed to complete and orbit every 900 years at a distance of 135 AU.
    • There’s another close star called Epsilon Coronae Borealis C, which is a faint star with a magnitude of 11.5.
  • IOTA CORONA BOREALIS
    • Iota Coronae Borealis is a binary star system located about 312 light-years from the Sun.
    • It can be seen with the naked eye, having a combined apparent magnitude of 4.96 and an absolute magnitude of 0.08.
    • Its components orbit each other for 35.474 days.
    • Iota Corona Borealis A, the primary star, is a chemically peculiar mercury-manganese star with narrow absorption lines.
    • It has a luminosity of 90 and a surface temperature of 278 K.
    • Iota Corona Borealis B, the companion star, is an A-type star.
    • The star system is believed to be a spectroscopic binary.
  • THETA CORONA BOREALIS
    • Theta Coronae Borealis is a binary star system located at 375 light-years away from Earth.
    • The system has a combined visual magnitude of 4.16 and its two components are estimated to orbit each other for 300 years
    • Theta Coronae Borealis A is a blue-white star with a surface temperature of 14190 K.
    • The star is the brighter component having an apparent magnitude of 4.16.
    • It spins rapidly, reason why there is a gaseous disk surrounding the star like a characteristic pattern in the star’s spectrum.
    • This is also the reason why Theta Coronae Borealis A belongs to the Be shell stars.
    • It is bigger than the Sun with a mass of approximately 6 and a radius of 8.
    • Though A is already a bright component, it used to be brighter back in 1970s, but it became 50% fainter for an unknown reason.
    • Theta Corona Borealis B is a white main-sequence star with a solar mass of 2.5.
  • EPSILON CORONA BOREALIS
    • Epsilon Coronae Borealis is a multiple-star system around 30 light-years away from us.
    • The star system is visible to the naked eye with a combined apparent magnitude of 4.13 and an absolute magnitude of 0.02.
    • The primary component of the system is an orange giant with a solar mass of 1.44 and a radius of 0.18
    • Epsilon Coronae Borealis B,
    • the companion star, is an orange dwarf. which is believed to complete and orbit every 900 years at a distance of 135 AU.
    • There’s another close star called Epsilon Coronae Borealis C, which is a faint star with a magnitude of 11.5.
  • T CORONA BOREALIS
    • T Coronae Borealis is a recurring nova, an unusual star that is also known as the Blaze star.
    • It is believed to be dimmer than 120 stars in the night sky with an apparent magnitude ranging from 2-10.08, which is near the limit of typical binoculars.
    • The two components orbit each other for 227.8 days.
    • The primary component of
    • the system is a cool red giant transferring it’s material to the hot component with a solar mass of 1.12 and a solar radius of 75.
    • It is 655 times brighter than our Sun with a temperature of 3,600 K.
    • The secondary star is the hot component, believed to be a white dwarf that’s surrounded by an accretion disk that is hidden inside the material of the primary component.
    • The star is 1.37 more massive than the Sun and is approximately 100 times brighter.
    • When T Coronae Borealis is inactive, the primary component dominates the visible light output making the system appear as an M3 giant.
    • The luminosity of the system increases during outbursts because the transfer of material from the primary component to the secondary component increases, causing the secondary (hot) component to expand.
    • T Coronae Borealis brightened last April 2016 from magnitude 10.5 to 9.2.
  • RHO CORONA BOREALIS
    • Rho Coronae Borealis is a yellow dwarf star located 57 light-years away from the Sun.
    • This star is very similar to our Sun, with a mass of 0.91 and a radius of 1.4, but it is 10.2 billion years old.
    • It is speculated to be 51 to 65 percent as enriched with elements heavier than hydrogen.
    • It’s luminosity is estimated to be 1.71 times brighter than the sun with a temperature of about 5,627 K.
    • It has an apparent magnitude of 5.4 and an absolute magnitude of 4.21.
    • Rho Coronae Borealis is orbited by two known exoplanets.
  • R CORONA BOREALIS
    • R Coronae Borealis is a low-mass yellow supergiant around 1400 parsecs away.
    • This star is the prototype of R Coronae Borealis class of variable stars, fading by several magnitudes at irregular intervals.
    • The supergiant normally has an apparent magnitude of 6 and an absolute magnitude of -5, but it’s apparent magnitude ranges from 5.71 to 14.8 at irregular intervals.
    • It gradually returns to its normal magnitude overtime, making it nicknamed as the “reverse nova”.
    • R Coronae Borealis has a mass of 0.8 and a radius of 85.
    • Classified as a carbon-enhanced extreme helium star, this supergiant has 90% helium and less than 1% hydrogen.
    • This star was described as “the variable in the Northern Crown” when it was discovered.
  • IOTA CORONA BOREALIS
    • Kappa Coronae Borealis is an orange K-type giant star around 98 light-years away from the Earth.
    • It has an apparent magnitude of 4.82 and an absolute magnitude of 2.35.
    • The star’s solar mass is 1.32 and its solar radius is 4.77.
    • Kappa Coronae Borealis is 11.6 time brighter than our sun with
    • a temperature of about 4,870 K.
    • It was formerly known as an A-type main-sequence star around 2.5 billion years ago.
    • Kappa Coronae Borealis is the first to host a dust disk, captured at March 2013, which makes it the first subgiant to host that circumstellar belt.

Deep-Sky Objects

  • Corona Borealis does not have any Messier objects or meteor showers, but it is associated with some galaxies.
  • NGC 6085 is a spiral galaxy located at 454 million light-years away from Earth.
  • This galaxy is also a member of the Abell 2162 galaxy cluster.
  • The brightest member of that cluster is NGC 6086, an elliptical galaxy with a supermassive black hole.
  • Another cluster is Abell 2142, a luminous one located at around six million light-years and it contains hundreds of galaxies.
  • Abell 2065 is the last cluster associated with Corona Borealis.
  • It is highly concentrated with over 400 galaxies, located at one billion light-years away from the Solar System.
  • The Corona Borealis Supercluster is a giant galaxy, located at 964 million light-years away from us, containing the galaxy clusters Abell 2056, 2061, 2065, 2067, 2079, 2089 and 2092.