Encyclopedia > Aquarius

  Article Content

Aquarius

Aquarius

larger image
AbbreviationAqr
GenitiveAquarii
Meaning in Englishthe Water-bearer
Right ascension23 h
Declination-15°
Visible to latitudeBetween 65° and -90°
On meridian9 p.m., October 10
Area
 - Total
Ranked 10th
980 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
2
Brightest star
 - Apparent magnitude
Sadalsud[?] (β Aqr)
2,9
Meteor showers
Bordering constellations

Aquarius, the water bearer, is one of the most ancient constellations of the sky. It is found in a region often called the Sea[?] due to its profusion of watery constellations such as Cetus, Pisces, Eridanus, etc. Sometimes, the river Eridanus is depicted spilling from Aquarius' watering pot.

Table of contents

Notable features

Some principal stars in Aquarius include:

  • α Aquarii, Sadalmelik ("lucky one of the king"), found nearly on the celestial equator;
  • β Aquarii, Sadalsud ("luckiest of the lucky");
  • γ Aquarii, Sadachbia ("lucky star of hidden things");

  • δ Aquarii, Skat or Scheat ("shin").

The stars γ, ζ, η, and π Aquarii compose an asterism called the Urn, representing Aquarius' watering pot.

Two meteor showers originate in Aquarius: the Eta Aquarids (near May 4) and the Delta Aquarids (near June 28), both providing about 20 meteorites per hour.

Notable deep-sky objects

Two planetary nebulae are found in Aquarius: NGC 7009, called the Saturn Nebula[?] due to its resemblance to the planet, to the southeast of η Aquarii; and NGC 7293, the famous Helix Nebula, southwest of δ Aquarii.

History

The constellation was immortalized in the 1960s, proclaimed the Age of Aquarius. However, there is no standard definition for astrological ages, so the age of Aquarius could begin in 2150[?] or even 2660[?], depending on the preferred definition.

Mythology

Aquarius has been variously identified through the ages. The best-known myth identifies Aquarius with Ganymede, a beautiful boy with whom Zeus fell in love, and whom he carried off to Olympus to be cupbearer to the gods. Crater is sometimes identified as his cup.

Astrology

The astrological sign Aquarius (January 20 - February 18) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Aquarius is associated with the Classical Element Air, and thus called an Air Sign (with Libra and Gemini). Its polar opposite is Leo.


Constellations of the zodiac : Aries -- Taurus -- Gemini -- Cancer -- Leo -- Virgo -- Libra -- Scorpius -- (Ophiuchus) -- Sagittarius -- Capricornus -- Aquarius -- Pisces


Aquarius was also the name of a very simple early home computer from Mattel.

It was released in June 1983, but production ceased the same year in October, because of poor sales.

Shortly after the release of the Aquarius, Mattel announced plans for another home computer, the Aquarius II, which was never commercialized.

External link

http://members.aol.com/paparotcy/aquarius/index



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Cosmic microwave background radiation

... experiments. Probably still the most famous of these is the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite that was flown in 1989-1996, which made the first detection of ...