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Coma Berenices

Quick Facts

Name:Coma Berenices
KO-mah bear-en-EYE-sees
Meaning:Berenice's Hair
Abbreviation:Com
Genitive:Comae Berenices
Visible in Latitudes:90° thru -60°
Viewing Season:Spring
Best Seen In:May, 9:00 pm
Transit Date:April 9
Right Ascension:12.76 hours
Declination:21.8 degrees
Area:386.475 sq. degrees

Star Diagram

Star Diagram: Coma Berenices

About Coma Berenices

Coma Berenices represents the hair of Queen Berenice of Egypt. When her husband (and brother) Ptolemy Euergetes went off to war, she offered her hair as a sacrifice to the gods, if they would grant him a safe return. He did and she cut off her hair and placed it on the Altar in the temple of Venus. The locks were stolen and placed among the stars; some say Venus herself was the thief, while others think it was just an astronomer named Conon, who made up the whole story in order to comfort Berenice when she heard of the theft. Some other versions of the story said that the hair was turned into a hair-star, or comet. The origns of the constellation's actual position in ancient times are actually unknown, until Tycho Brahe, in 1602, settled the matter by recording its present position. The ancients had the constellation overlapping with either Leo's tail or Virgo.

Named Stars

 
NameStar
DiademAlpha Com

Messier Objects

 
NameType
M53Globular Cluster
M64Spiral Galaxy
M85Elliptical Galaxy
M88Spiral Galaxy
M91Spiral Galaxy
M98Spiral Galaxy
M99Spiral Galaxy
M100Spiral Galaxy

Neighboring Constellations

BoötesUrsa Major
Canes VenaticiVirgo
Leo
©2016 Bot Productions. All rights reserved.Last Updated: December 8, 2000