Current Moon Phase

Waxing Gibbous
53% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Lynx: The Stellar Wildcat

Lynx: The Stellar Wildcat

Lynx is one of the dimmest, and lesser known, constellations in the night sky. It is one of 88 official modern constellations, and one of the 40 that is not of ancient origin. Lynx was introduced in the 17th century by Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius.

It was named for the lynx, a type of wildcat native to Eurasia and North America. The bobcat and Canada lynx are both members of the lynx family. The constellation sits in the northern sky bordered by Ursa Major, Camelopardalis, Auriga, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Leo Minor.

It contains 42 stars, the brightest of which form a zigzagging line often depicted as the cat’s back. Only one star is named: Alsciaukat, also known as 31 Lyncis, or kappa Lyncis. Its brightest star is alpha lyncis, a third magnitude star located about 220 light-years from Earth.

Lynx does contain two deep sky objects, the globular cluster NGC 2419, which is one of the most distant deep sky objects currently known, and the galaxy NGC 2683.

Because it is a modern constellation, Lynx has no role in classical mythology, though there is folklore surrounding the animal. Lynxes were once held to be keepers of secret wisdom. During the middle ages, they were also closely associated with the semi-precious stone known today as the garnet. It was once believed that the stone was formed from lynx urine covered in dirt for several days. A wily treasure hunter could find this valuable gem by tracking a lynx and watching it.

0 comments

There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.