Spring Sky Tour Home Page

As the earth swings about the sun toward the northern face of our galaxy, we find ourselves looking out into deep space -- we are past the bright stars of winter into a fainter portion of the sky. With fewer bright stars, though, comes an abundance of deep sky beauties. If ever there is a time to bring out the largest aperture telescope you can get, the time is now.

The account here is the agenda that I loosely follow in providing a guided tour of the spring skies as visible from 45 North Latitude. This tour is designed for one topic to lead to the next, so it flows nicely and still manages to teach Astronomy under the night sky as we caravan from one constellation to another. Aside from the binoculars and telescopes I usually make a point of also bringing a highly focused flashlight which serves as an effective pointer for tracing out constellations.

View to the South

View to the North

Index to the Tour

Polar Constellations
Gemini & Cancer
Hydra, Crater, & Corvus
Botes & Corona Borealis
Leo & Coma Berenices

Overview of the Tour

The Spring tour is unique, with the Big Dipper serving as the hub from which we guide our tour group through the entire parade of constellations. Starting with the pointer stars to Polaris, we then sweep generally West to East with the pointers to Auriga, then the pointers to Gemini then sweeping down through Hydra and Company to Virgo, then following the Dipper's handle (arc to Arcturus), and finishing with the pointers to Leo and Coma Berenices.

The Top Attractions

Time might be limited, if it's chilly, if conditions are changing, or else if time is just limited. In that case, these are the best items to hit - the ones that the kids (and the adults) are talking about days later.

Feature Naked Eye Binoculars Telescope
Mizar & Alcor
The Beehive
The Lost Star Cluster (M48)
The Ghost of Jupiter
Sombrero Galaxy
Regulus & Gamma Leonis
Black Eye Galaxy

Back to Stargazing Home Page

Back to Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society

On to the Polar Constellations


Goddard Space Flight Center Hubble Site The best Hubble web site in my "hubble" opinion

SEDS "Students for the Exploration and Development of Space" -- the single most informative astronomy site on the web, period.

Views of the Solar System Excellent reference on the solar system, well organized and packed with goodies.


All content material was graciously provided and used by the permission of  Randy Culp