Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on TwitterThe Aquila constellation is often associated with the eagle. It was one of the 48 constellations described by the ancient astronomer Ptolemy. The constellation had been mentioned as early as the 4th century B.C by Eudoxus. Currently it is one of the constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. The constellation contains 8 main stars, 6 of which are known to have planets revolving around them. There is a total of 65 Bayer/Flamsteed stars in the grouping.
There have been to novas in known history in the Aquila constellation: one in 389 B.C. The other was in 1918. The first is said to have shone brighter than Venus and the other was recorded as being brighter than the Altair-the brightest star in the constellation.
The Aquila constellation contains many starfields. Altair is a triple star system and is of spectral type A7 V. It has a parallax of 0.23″, and consequently is about eight times as bright as the sun. Alshain is spectral type is G8 IV and it shines with an apparent brightness of 3.71m. Like Altair, it is a multiple star system with three components. There are several deep sky objects of note in the constellation. The constellation is best seen in the month of September. In the middle of August Aquila culminates at about 22:00. The declination of the constellation borders ranges from -12 to +19 degrees. Together with the stars of Deneb in Cygnus and Vega in Lyra, Altair forms the well known summer triangle of the northern summer sky
Here is a link to some very good photographs of the Aquila constellation. Here on Universe Today we have another great article about Aquila and its many parts. Astronomy Cast offers a great episode about
observing celestial objects and the benefits of a truly dark sky in doing so.