University of Edinburgh

BSL Astronomy Glossary - bootes - definition

Definition: A constellation is a group of stars and Bootes is a constellation that looks a little bit like a person herding animals, hence its name, which means ‘herder’. Long ago it was believed that Bootes was herding the bears in the night sky, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. To find this constellation, first find the Plough, a star pattern that is part of the constellation of the Great Bear, Ursa Major. Trace a line downwards through the three stars that make up the handle of the Plough until you come to the next bright star, Arcturus, as shown in the video. Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation of Bootes. The addition of imaginary lines and the artist’s impression help us to imagine why it got its name.