Welcome to Houston Astronomical Society

Founded in 1955, Houston Astronomical Society is an active community of enthusiastic amateur and professional astronomers with over 60 years of history in the Houston area. Through education and outreach, our programs promote science literacy and astronomy awareness. We meet on the first Friday of each month at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center. Membership has a variety of benefits, including access to a secure dark site west of Houston, a telescope loaner program, and much more. Joining is simple; you can sign up online, by mail or in person at a monthly meeting.

Asterisms – Broken Engagement Ring

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 4/16/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
Constellation: Ursa Major
Right Ascension:  10h 51m 00.0s
Declination: +56° 09' 00"
Magnitude: 7 to 11 
Size: 15 minutes        

This month’s asterism is called the “Broken Engagement Ring”. It is located near the bowl of the Big Dipper. It is made up of a semi-circle of stars, about 15 minutes in size.  



This asterism is just off Beta β Ursa Major, Merak, a 2.4 magnitude star. The bigger circle in the picture is a typical finder view.



The bright star in the upper left, at 7.4 magnitude, could be considered the diamond of the ring, but the lower right section of the ring is missing. Using your imagination the 3 bright stars to the lower right could be considered the “missing stars” of the “Broken Engagement Ring”.


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