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Scorpio Constellation

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The constellation of Scorpio is a zodiac sign which also belongs to one of the 88 constellations known to humans. This constellation in ancient times was known as Libra and it is believed that it was the Romans who first imagined its position.

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What is the constellation Scorpio?

Since the first observations of space began, almost 100 constellations have been discovered , one very different from another. Twelve of them are distributed throughout the zodiac, and one of the ones that stands out the most, apart from Orion, is the constellation of Scorpio. In Latin it is known as Scorpius, and it is the eighth constellation of the zodiac . It is so called because its brightest stars draw the figure of a scorpion.

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Characteristics of the constellation Scorpio

The main characteristics of Scorpius are the following:

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  • It is located in the southern hemisphere
  • It occupies 497 square degrees of surface in the sky
  • Its shape is that of a scorpion
  • It is one of the members of the zodiac
  • It can be observed from April to September in the northern hemisphere and during winter, spring and another in the southern hemisphere
  • It has an extensive stellar richness , made up of globular and stellar clusters and nebulae that can be seen with small telescopes.

History

According to various sources, since ancient times there was already talk of at least 24 of the stars that make up the constellation of Scorpio .

The first recorded comment about this grouping of stars can be found in the 7th century BC . north of the Mesopotamian region , specifically in the Mul-Apin writings; However, some sources suggest that in Babylon, in the middle of the second millennium BC, the figure of Scorpius could be identified in the engravings of various houses.

In Greece, during the 2nd century BC, the astronomer Claudius Ptolemy described one of the clusters belonging to the constellation Scorpio , which is currently known as M7 (Messier object number 7) or Ptolemy Cluster in his honor. Likewise, it is considered one of the first stellar manifestations described in his studies on the stars .

From a mythological point of view, the origin of this constellation can be located in the Greek legend of Orion . In its most popular version, the hunter Orion, blinded by jealousy, put out his eyes. Once he was blind and during one of his adventures, he accidentally stepped on a scorpion, and when stung he found death immediately.

From there the gods raised both Orion and the scorpion to the skies, placing each one at opposite ends of the sky so that when the scorpion peeks over the horizon, the hunter flees from his victimizer.

Location

From the celestial point of view, it is located at -20 degrees from the Equator, between the constellations Ophiuchus (also called Serpentarium) and Norma (also known as Escuadra) . In the zodiac it limits the west with Libra and the east with Sagittarius , in the southern hemisphere, below the Ecliptic.

Scorpio constellation stars

The constellation of Scorpio  has a large number of stars , the most outstanding being, in order from greatest to least brightness:

  • Antares: it is the central star. It has a reddish color and its diameter is 400 times greater than that of the sun.
  • Akrab: it is also called Grafias, and its color is bluish-white
  • Dschubba: like Akrab, it has a bluish-white hue, and is located on the forehead of the scorpion
  • Shaula – Located on the scorpion’s sting, along with another star named Lesath
  • Sargas: it is located 190 light years from Earth and its name is of Mesopotamian origin

Other objects

In addition to his celestial bodies, he possesses the following deep sky objects:

  • Cotton Candy Nebula or pronotebula , identified with IRAS number 17150-3224
  • Insect Nebula , of deep complexity and whose most important star has a temperature of more than 200,000 K
  • Cluster M4 , home to several ancient white dwarfs. Can be easily viewed with binoculars
  • Cluster M6 or Butterfly Cluster
  • Cluster M7 or Ptolemy Cluster
  • Cluster M80
  • Clusters NGC 6124 and NGC 6231 , which host numerous supergiant stars with greater luminosity than the sun

Observation

To start observing the constellation of Scorpio, you have to make sure that you are in the summer (particularly during the month of July, between 10 and 11 at night), that you have a moonless night and that you do not have objects that obstruct your life. view, such as buildings or trees.

After this, you have to look south. E n the horizon Antares stands , easily located due to its high brightness and reddish . Once located there, you look to the left and down to locate the tail , a thread of stars that together take the shape of a hook.

Then, to the right of Antares, the head and the two claws are located . The latter are formed by two groups of three stars that create figures similar to the letter V.

What is the brightest star in the constellation Scorpio

The brightest and most important star is Antares , or Alpha Scorpii . This cool supergiant star is spectral in type, and its name is based on its reddish hue, formerly associated with the god Ares (also known as Mars ).

It was thought that this star, due to its similarity, was a rival of this god, which is why it was awarded the name of Antares or what is the same Anti-Ares.

Importance

Since ancient times, constellations have been very useful for location . From the moment the seas began to be navigated in search of new territories, one of the most reliable ways to guide oneself was through the stars, particularly those that were grouped together .

The constellation of Scorpio did not escape this reality, and its greatest importance during the beginnings of its humanity resides in it. Thanks to its brightest star, Antares, locating in the sky was not a major problem if it was done from this constellation .

Added to this, it houses a large number of ancient stars, dating back to the beginning of the Milky Way .

Curiosities about the constellation Scorpio

  • It is the constellation with the largest number of stars of magnitude less than 15
  • Despite its southern location, it often conjugates with the Moon and various planets , offering a highly appreciated spectacle both by those who are dedicated to photographing the sky and those who enjoy the celestial space with the naked eye.
  • It belongs to the select group of constellations whose way in which its stars are distributed corresponds to its name
  • In one of the films of the Harry Potter saga, during a scene in which the protagonist is visiting the Weasley family during the holidays, the constellation of Scorpio is observed in the sky
  • It has received numerous interpretations from different cultures : for example, in America , the Mayans called it The Stars of the Scorpion, and for the Maori ethnic group it represents the hook of the mythological hero Maui.

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