How to Find and Identify the Zodiac Constellation Gemini

Written by john lindell
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Gemini is a group of stars that represent a pair of twins from Greek mythology. Gemini is also a Zodiac constellation, associated with astrology and the month of June. While there are many well-defined constellations in the winter sky, Gemini is often overlooked. Read this article to find and identify the characteristics of Gemini the next time you look into the starry night's sky.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Lawn chair or blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Binoculars

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wait until early winter in the northern hemisphere to view Gemini in the evenings. It will be easily visible by nine o’clock at night. Face towards the east and scan the skies.

  2. 2

    Look for Gemini west of Taurus the Bull. Taurus is an easily identifiable star group shaped like a “V” with an open cluster called the Pleiades located closely to its right. Gemini is to the left of Taurus. Gemini is also north of the small constellation Canis Minor, which contains one bright star, Procyon.

  3. 3

    Seek out the two bright “Twins.” Gemini is marked by two bright stars that are almost side by side, separated by the width of your thumb if you held it up to the heavens. One star is Castor and the other is Pollux. Think of the hour hand on a clock. If Pollux, the brighter of the two stars, were in the middle of the clock, then Castor would be pointing to half past one. Castor is a triple star system. One of the stars orbits the other while a third revolves around the other two. It takes a good telescope to divide them for your viewing.

  4. 4

    Remember that Gemini is more than these two stars. Depending on your point of view, you can perceive Gemini as two somewhat straight lines connected at the top. The rest of the stars in Gemini flow down in two lines towards the hunter Orion, a brilliant constellation that contains many bright stars.

  5. 5

    Don’t miss a chance to see the open star cluster known as M35. This bunch of stars, numbering several hundred, is located at the “feet” of Gemini, more specifically Castor’s feet, the twin on the right side of Gemini. It can be seen with the naked eye on a moonless night. Binoculars will allow you to see brighter stars within the cluster.

  6. 6

    Watch for the Geminid meteor shower in mid-December. The Geminids are an annual meteor shower that peaks around December 13th and 14th. If you look at Castor the meteors will seem to radiate from the area. The Geminids can produce dozens of meteors an hour over the course of these two nights.

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