Aquila is a bird of the sky, just like his neighboring Cygnus constellation. While the Aquila constellation is similar to Cygnus, it is easier to spot because its stars are brighter. The constellation pattern is also simpler, where clear straight lines can be visualized. The constellation Aquila has three of its brighter stars in a short and very straight line. The middle of these three stars is called alpha Aquilae or Altair, which means bird in Arabic.
The Aquila constellation is best seen in the northern summer as it is located along the Milky Way. Several clusters and nebulae are found within its borders, but they are dim and there are few galaxies. Aquila has seven stars with known planets and contains no Messier objects. It holds three interesting nebulas:
- NGC 6804 has a small yet bright ring
- NGC 6781 which looks similar to the Owl Nebula in the Big Dipper.
- NGC 6751: known as the Glowing Eye, a planetary nebula
Other deep-sky objects of interest in the Aquila Constellation include:
- NGC 6709: An open cluster formed of about 40 stars
- NGC 6755: An open cluster formed of about 4 stars dozen stars with magnitudes 12 through 13
- NGC 6760: a globular cluster
- NGC 6749: an open cluster
- NGC 6778: another planetary nebula
- NGC 6741: another planetary nebula
- NGC 6772: another planetary nebula
Aquila Constellation Mythology
In astrology, Altair was considered a mischief-maker and a foretoken of danger from reptiles. The Aquila constellation was known as The Eagle by the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs and Jews. The Sumerians called it the Great Wind.
Aquila is located within the Milky Way but contains almost no double stars.
Great Mini Telescopes to Observe Constellations
StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope
GoScope II 70mm Refractor Telescope
Orion ShortTube 80 Equatorial Refractor Telescope