Coma Berenices

This fantastic constellation, "Berenices Hair" is home to some of the most fascinating objects that can be seen with modest instruments, whereas the constellation itself is wondrous when seen through binoculars. Coma Berenices was introduced by the Greeks in a charming legend regarding the loyal wife of Ptolemy, governor of Egypt. Berenice promised the gods that she would offer her shining tresses if her husband returned home unscathed after battle. Ptolemy duly returned in good health, and Berenice kept her promise. The glittering tresses disappeared however, and Solon, the court astrologer, was called upon to explain who had stolen them. In a laudable bout of quick thinking, he pointed out the constellation to the King and Queen and told them the gods were so pleased with such a sacrifice that they had placed the offering in the heavens. Berenice was placated, and the fearful astrologer, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief, went on to live to a ripe old age.

Notable Objects

Mellotte 111, a star cluster, NGC 4565 an edge on bright galaxy. Messier 64 the “black eye” galaxy, Messier 53 a globular cluster and NGC 5053 a faint globular cluster 1 degree from Messier 53