nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Brocchi’s Cluster

coat hanger

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My most recent poetry book, a glimpse of dragon, includes several poems about the mystery and magic of the night sky. One of the most interesting star groupings I have seen is Collinder 399, also known as Brocchi’s Coathanger. Its ten stars look a lot like a little upside-down coat hanger. The grouping is not a true star cluster or constellation, but is considered an asterism — just a random pattern of stars. To see the asterism, you need a dark, summer sky. Find the Summer Triangle (the triangle created by Altair, Vega and Deneb) and Collinder 399 is near the line between Vega and Altair. On my back deck, it can be found by facing south, and looking along the roof ridge of our house, so I can always find it at the right time of year. 

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(Source: Wikimedia Commons, Petr Novak)

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Here is a poem about the asterism from a glimpse of dragon:

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coat hangers

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1.

metal hangers aggravate

refuse to cooperate

they are

jangled, tangled

twisted

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2.

her closet has

grace

padded satin hangers

plumped

muffled

kind to arthritic hands

pearl buttons to keep

her dresses from slipping to the floor

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3.

Brocchis’ Coathanger Cluster

between Altair and Vega –

with binoculars

this fuzzy patch of light resolves

to ten splendid stars

~

suspends the fabric of sky –

a strong little hanger

with an oversized hook

upside-down

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To get a copy of a glimpse of dragon, take a trip to Westminster Books in Fredericton, or order from Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/glimpse-dragon-Jane-Spavold-Tims/dp/B09M5KYBS3.

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Hurry up summer sky!

All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 5, 2022 at 7:00 am

places off-planet #6 – the ‘Coathanger’ asterism

with 10 comments

Most people have never seen my favourite star grouping, but if you use binoculars and can locate two key stars, I think you could see it too.  It is the ‘Coathanger’ asterism (or group of stars), also known as Collinder 366, Al Sufi’s Cluster, or Brocchi’s Cluster.  It looks like a little upside-down coathanger.  It was first described by the Persian astronomer Al Sufi in 964 AD!

The ‘Coathanger’ is in the constellation Vulpecula in the ‘Summer Triangle’.  To find the ‘Coathanger’, use the binoculars to sweep the Milky Way from the star ‘Altair’ towards the bright star ‘Vega’.   The ‘Coathanger’ is found about one-third of the way from Altair to Vega.

photo is from Wikimedia Commons

original contributor DannyZ

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coat hangers, closets and stars 

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1.

metal hangers

aggravate

refuse to cooperate

jangled

tangled                    twisted

~

2.

her closet

built for grace

satin hangers

muffled           plumped      and padded

kind to arthritic hands

~

pearl buttons to catch

her dresses

before they slip

to the floor

~

3.

between Altair and Vega

Brocchis’ Coathanger Cluster

also known as Collinder 399

suspends the fabric of sky

~

with binoculars

this fuzzy patch of light

resolves

to ten           splendid           stars

~

strong little hanger

oversized hook

upside-down

~

~

©  Jane Tims  2011

Written by jane tims

May 26, 2012 at 8:08 am

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