Constellation Scorpius The Scorpion Blog Post

Constellation Scorpius the Scorpion

 Join us as we unveil the mysteries of the constellation Scorpius.

Constellation_Scorpius_the_Scorpion Symbolism: It is easy to imagine a scorpion when viewing the constellation Scorpius as the Greeks and Sumerians did, however it has had many symbols throughout history. The Javanese people of Indonesia call this constellation Banyakangrem, meaning “the brooded swan” or Kalapa Doyong, meaning “leaning coconut tree.” In Hawaii, it is known as the demigod Maui’s Fishhook. In Chinese mythology, the constellation was part of the Azure Dragon.

 Mythology: In Greek mythology, Orion tried to ravish the goddess Artemis and she sent the scorpion to do away with him. In another version, it was Gaia, the Earth goddess, that sent the scorpion after Orion had boasted that he could defeat any wild beast.

In Hawai’I myths, Scorpius represents the demigod Maui’s magic fishhook, which he used to pull up the islands. He tricked his brothers into paddling their canoe with all their might to haul up each island, which he had hooked using a great and magical fishhook. He told them it was a massive fish.

 When is it visible? July and August are prime-time months for observing this wondrous constellation. In early July, in either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, Scorpius climbs to its highest point in the sky at about 9 p.m. local time. The stars return to the same place in the sky about one-half hour earlier with each passing week.

How to find it? As seen from mid-northern latitudes, such as the central U.S., Scorpius’ arc is low across the southern sky.  From the U.S., the constellation never rises very high above the horizon, so a clear viewing area is needed to observe this gorgeous star pattern. Look for bright red star Antares, whose name means “rival of Mars”, just behind the head of the scorpion.

 History and Science: Scorpius pre-dates the Greeks and is one of the oldest constellations known. The Sumerians called it GIR-TAB, or “the scorpion,” about 5,000 years ago. Due to its location straddling the Milky Way, this constellation contains many deep-sky objects such as the open clusters Messier 6 (the Butterfly Cluster) and Messier 7 (the Ptolemy Cluster), NGC 6231, and the globular clusters Messier 4 and Messier 80.

You can’t buy a star in the constellation Scorpius but you can Name a Star in this ancient constellation known to many cultures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *