BOÖTES (bō-ō´tēz)—THE HERDSMAN, OR BEAR DRIVER. (Face West.)
Location.—Boötes lies just west of the Crown, and east of Cor Caroli. It may be easily distinguished by the position and splendor of its principal star, Arcturus, which shines with a golden yellow lustre. It is about 35° east of Denebola, in Leo, and nearly as far north of Spica, in Virgo, and forms with these two a large equilateral triangle. A line drawn from ζ to η Ursæ Majoris and prolonged about 30° locates it, as does one from δ Herculis to γ Coronæ prolonged its length.
The brightest stars in Boötes outline a characteristic kite-shaped figure. Arcturus is mentioned in the Book of Job and is often referred to as “The Star of Job.”
Three stars of the fourth magnitude are situated in the right hand. They are about 5° north of η Ursæ Majoris.
Contrast the color of Arcturus with Spica, Antares, and Vega.
The trapezium β, γ, δ, and μ, was called “The Female Wolves,” by the Arabians; θ, ι, κ and λ, “The Whelps of the Hyenas.” They knew the constellation as “The Vociferator.”
Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the northern hemisphere. It is 1000 times the size of our sun and rushes through space toward Virgo at the astounding rate of ninety miles a second. It is forty light years distant.
The ancient Greeks called this constellation “Lycaon,” a name which signifies a Wolf. The Hebrew name for it was “The Barking Dog.”