This year, for the A-Z challenge, we’re looking at heavenly bodies. There are two things in the sky that begin with the letter “B”, the constellation “Bootes” and the brilliant star Betelgeuse, which is found in the constellation Orion.
First, let’s look at Bootes. It is best scene in the spring sky and has the appearance of a diamond-shaped kite, with the bright star Arcturus (the fifth brightest in the sky) forming the bottom of the diamond. The name comes from the Greek word, “Ox Driver,” and he stands tall in the sky. The best way to find it is to follow the handle of the URSA Major (also known as the Big Dipper and the Great Bear). In some legends, he’s driving the great ox (bear) around the pole. In other stories, he’s depicted as a hunter, with a club and two dogs. There’s even a third story in which he’s Icarius, a grape grower. In Brazil, where the constellation is toward the north horizon in the Spring, the kite-shape stars are seen as the shape of piranha (fish).
Betelgeuse, like Arcturus is a bright reddish colored star. It’s the 12th brightest star in the sky. The star is huge (but far away) and as stars go, relatively cool. It’s diameter and magnitude varies. Because of its location in Orion (in the constellation’s right armpit). The star supposedly inspired the 90s movie, “Beatlejuice.”