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Draco [Lat., = the dragon], northern constellation lying SE of Ursa Minor and N of Lyra and Hercules. It is traditionally depicted as a dragon. Draco contains the bright star Eltanin (Gamma Draconis). Thuban (Alpha Draconis) was the polestar 5,000 years ago, i.e., it was the star nearest the celestial pole, but because of the precession of the equinoxes, the polestar is now Polaris. Draco reaches its highest point in the evening sky in July, and is visible throughout the year for observers north of 40°N lat.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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