Astronomy articles to help you discover the wonders of the universe.

Constellation Guide

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Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.

Observational Astronomy Series
  1. Tips for Getting Started in Astronomy
  2. Dark Eye Adaption - How We See In the Dark
  3. Light Pollution
  4. Using Star Charts and Measuring Distance
  5. Constellation Guide
  6. Binocular Astronomy
  7. Moon Watching - How to Observe the Moon
  8. Buying Your First Telescope
  9. Your First Night With Your First Telescope
  10. Sky Orientation through a Telescope
  11. Polar Alignment of an Equatorial Telescope Mount
  12. Useful Astronomy Filters for Astrophotography

Serpens

The Serpent

Among the modern constellations it is unique in being split into two pieces, Serpens Caput (representing the head of the snake) to the west and Serpens Cauda (representing the tail) to the east. Between these two pieces lies the constellation of Ophiuchus, the serpent holder.

Constellation Guide Serpens

Only one of the stars in Serpens is brighter than third magnitude, so the constellation is not easy to perceive. α Serpentis, named Unukalhai, is in the head part. δ Serpentis, also in the head, is a double star 210 light-years from Earth. θ Serpentis, in the tail, is also double.

Serpens Mythology

Serpens is the snake being grasped by Ophiuchus, the Snake-Handler, and is thus very closely associated with it. Both were listed as constellations by Ptolemy. Originally, Serpens and Ophiuchus were considered a single Snake-Holder constellation, out of which developed an associated myth of the founding of medicine.

Notable Objects in Serpens

Messier 5, a globular cluster positioned approximately 8° southwest of α Serpentis is barely visible to the naked eye under good conditions, but visible with a small telescope.

The Eagle Nebula and its associated star cluster, Messier 16 are easier targets. The Eagle nebula is also the region where the famous Pillars of Creation were discovered.

Photos of Serpens

I have no photos of Serpens yet.

Constellations

Northern Circumpolar Constellations

These constellations can be viewed all year round in the Northern hemisphere as they move in a counterclockwise direction around the north celestial pole without setting or dipping below the horizon.

Northern Spring Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the spring months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Northern Summer Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the summer months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Northern Autumn Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the autumn months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Northern Winter Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the winter months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Last updated on: Wednesday 24th January 2018

 

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