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Scorpius

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Scorpius

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AbbreviationSco
GenitiveScorpii
Meaning in Englishthe Scorpion
Right ascension17 h
Declination-40°
Visible to latitudeBetween 40° and -90°
On meridian9 p.m., July 20
Area
 - Total
Ranked 33th
497 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
9
Brightest star
 - Apparent magnitude
Antares (α Sco)
0.96
Meteor showers
Bordering constellations

Scorpius (the scorpion) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. In western astrology it is known as "Scorpio." It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. It is a large constellation located in the southern hemisphere near the center of the Milky Way.

Table of contents

Notable features

Scorpius contains many bright stars, including Antares (α Sco), Graffias[?]1 Sco), Dschubba[?] (δ Sco), Sargas[?] (θ Sco), Shaula[?] (λ Sco), Jabah[?] (ν Sco), Grafias[?] (ξ Sco), Alniyat (σ Sco), Alniyat (τ Sco) and Lesath[?] (υ Sco).

Notable deep sky objects

Due to its location on the Milky Way, this constellation contains many deep sky objects such as the open clusters M6 (the Butterfly Cluster) and M7 (the Ptolemy Cluster); and the globular clusters M4 and M80.

Mythology

According to Greek mythology, it corresponds to the scorpion which was sent by Gaia (or possibly the goddess Juno) to kill the hunter Orion, the scorpion rising out of the ground at the goddess' command to attack. Although the scorpion and Orion appear together in this myth, the constellation of Orion is almost opposite to Scorpius in the night sky. It has been suggested that this was a divine precaution to forestall the heavenly continuation of the feud.

Scorpius also appears in one version of the fable of Phaethon, a foolish mortal who obtained permission to drive the Apollo's sun-chariot for a day. The horses, already out of control in their sky journey became scared when they encountered the great celestial scorpion with its sting raised to strike, and the inexperienced boy lost control of the chariot, as the sun wildly went about the sky. Finally, Jupiter struck him down with a thunderbolt to stop the rampage.

The Chinese included these stars in the Azure Dragon, a powerful but benevolent creature whose rising heralded spring.

Astrology

The astrological sign Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Scorpio is associated with the classical element Water, and thus called a Water Sign (with Cancer and Pisces). Its polar opposite is Taurus.


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



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