CANES VENATICI
(April schedule, May schedule, June schedule, July schedule)

     Canes Venatici constellation is visible on the sky almost throughout the year. We can call it spring constellation because it is in best position for evening observing in May when it is right at the zenith, and also in April and June when it is very high on the sky very close to the zenith.
     In the evenings in January and February is rising on the northeastern sky, in March is higher on the northeastern sky, in April is very high on the eastern sky close to the zenith, in May it is over our heads right at the zenith, in June it is very high on the western sky, in July it is on the northwestern sky, in August it is low on the northwestern sky and in September and October sets behind the northwestern horizon.
     We will observe it in April when it is high on the eastern sky close to the zenith, in May when it is right at the zenith if we look straight over our heads, in June when it is high on the western sky and in July when it is on the northwestern sky.

 Double and multiple stars

     Alpha Canum Venaticorum - Its name is Cor Caroli. The components have visual magnitudes 2.9 and 5.5. The combined (total) visual magnitude of both stars is 2.8 when we look with naked eyes because then it appears like one star on the sky. They are separated about 19 arc seconds on the sky. The main component with visual magnitude 2.9 is about 130 light years away from the Earth. It is slightly variable in brightness. It has several times larger mass and diameter than our Sun and is hotter than our Sun. Most likely it is still on the main sequence.
     The companion is main sequence star slightly larger in mass and diameter than our Sun and a bit hotter. Its distance form Earth in star catalogs is same as the main component, but it is not confirmed that this system is true binary star system or only visual double in our line of sight. If they are true binary system, the period will be many thousand years.

Deep sky objects
(will be observed only from dark location outside of the city)

     M 51 - It is spiral galaxy, and we see it face-on. Its name is Whirlpool Galaxy. Its visual magnitude is 8.4 and is about 25 millions light years away from the Earth. Its diameter is about 50,000 light years. It was the first galaxy to be classified as spiral. It is one of the most observed galaxies by amateur astronomers, because it is relatively bright and from dark location its large spiral arms can be observed with a telescope. And to be more interesting, the galaxy has close companion, smaller galaxy NGC 5195. It looks like the smaller galaxy is touching the bigger one, but in reality it is a bit behind the bigger one. The spiral arms of M 51 are deformed as a result of the gravitational interaction with its companion, and also because of this interaction there is a high rate of star formation in its arms. 
     M 51 is the first galaxy where spiral arms were observed through a telescope in the 19th century. It was William Parsons, the Third Earl of Rosse, amateur astronomer with his telescope, the biggest in the world at that time, and made a drawing of the galaxy. By then, all discovered and observed deep sky objects were called nebulae, because all of them appeared like nebulae through the small telescopes at that time. After M 51, William made drawings of several other such nebulae he observed, and they were called spiral nebulae. Eighty years later Hubble proved that these spiral nebulae are not nebulae from our galaxy, but separate objects in the space much far away from all other objects known before. They are separate galaxies, like our own galaxy, situated in the space like islands consisting of billions of stars and make up our known universe. Today we know that our known universe consists of several hundred billion galaxies. One of them is our own galaxy, called the Milky Way.
     M 51 is a main member of the M51 Group of galaxies. It is a small group which other prominent members are galaxies M 63, NGC 5023 and NGC 5229. 

     M 3 - It is a globular cluster of stars. Its visual magnitude is 6.3 and it is about 30,000 light years away from the Earth. It is one of the most beautiful globular star clusters when observed through a telescope. It is large and bright and contains about 500,000 stars tightly packed in space with a diameter of about 180 light years. Its age is about 11 billion years.  

     NGC 5466 - It is a globular cluster of stars in Bootes constellation. Its visual magnitude on the sky is 10.5. It is located about 50,000 light years away from the Earth. Its age is about 13.5 billion years.

     M 63 - It is spiral galaxy which we see it tilted on the sky. Its name is the Sunflower Galaxy. Its visual magnitude on the sky is 9.0. It is about 40 million light years away. When observed this galaxy about 170 years ago, Lord Rosse first noticed that the nebula has spiral structure. M63 is one of the main members of the M51 Group of galaxies.

     M 94 - It is spiral galaxy which we see it face-on on the sky. Its visual magnitude on the sky is 9.0 and it is located about 15 million light years away from the Earth. This galaxy is main member of the M 94 Group of galaxies that contains about 20 galaxies. It is also called the Canes Venatici I group of galaxies. It is part of our Local Supercluster.

     M 106 - It is spiral galaxy which we see it tilted on the sky. Its visual magnitude is 9.1 and it is located about 25 million light years away. Its size is about the size of our galaxy. M 106 is main member of The Canes Venatici II group, a group of galaxies about 25 million light years away. It is member of our Local Supercluster. Canes Venatici II group lies behind the Canes Venatici I group.

     NGC 4631 - NGC 4631 is spiral galaxy which we see it edge-on on the sky. Its name is the Whale Galaxy because when observed through a telescope it looks like a whale because the galaxy is distorted. Its visual magnitude on the sky is 9.8 and it is about 30 million light years away from the Earth. This galaxy has small companion which is very close - it is a dwarf galaxy with catalogue number NGC 4627. Its visual magnitude on the sky is 13.1.
     A bit further on the sky, but still very close to NGC 4631 is another galaxy. It is about 30 arc minutes away from NGC 4631 on the sky. This galaxy is NGC 4656 and it is highly distorted because of the gravitational interaction with NGC 4631. Its distance is about 30 million light years from the Earth. Its visual magnitude on the sky is 11.0. 
     NGC 4631 galaxy is main member of the NGC 4631 Group of galaxies. NGC 4656 is also member of this group and some more galaxies, but their exact number is unknown because in this part of the sky there are a lot of galaxies and is hard to determine which group they belong.      

     NGC 4244 - It is spiral galaxy and we see it edge-on on the sky. Its visual magnitude is 10.5 and it is about 10 million light years away from the Earth. It is member of the M 94 Group of galaxies (Canes Venatici I group of galaxies).