Constellation Vulpecula

 

The constellation of the Little Fox (lat. Vulpecula) extends with 269 square degrees relatively inconspicuous in the northern hemisphere. None of the stars reaches the fourth magnitude.

How to spot Vulpecula

Vulpecula is located between Sagitta and Cygnus. In the constellation you can see the band of the Milky Way, and with it some open star clusters. The main star of the Little Fox, α Vulpeculae, is a red giant: Its diameter is 40 times bigger than the one of the sun and it shines 400 times brighter.

History and Mythology

Although Vulpecula was recognized first in the 17th century, it is a figure of Greek mythology. The constellation was former introduced under the name "vulpecula cum ansere", "fox with goose", but today the goose is no longer regarded as a constellation.

In mythology, it is associated with Lailaps, the fastest dog of his time. On the island of Thebes, the fox caused a lot of damage in the population and its livestock. Because of a curse of the Gods it could never be captured. So Lailaps was set on the fox who chased it tirelessly. Finally, Zeus ended the hopeless hunt and set both in the sky.