Short Constellation Guide

12 Signs of the Zodiac

Sternbilder Aries Pisces Aquarius Capricorn Sagitarius Scorpio Libra Virgo Leo Cancer Gemini Taurus

The Scorpion (Scorpio)

Scorpius lies between the Scale (in the west) and the Snake-Carrier (Ophiuchus) or the Archer (Sagittarius) (in the east). This most impressive constellation is comprised of many bright stars, the brightest of which is named Antares (magnitude 1). The Scorpion is one of the few constellations that actually looks similar to the thing for which it was named. Even someone who observes the sky only rarely and with little imagination can identify this constellation in the sky.

From mythology – an interesting story that has been told for many centuries

This constellation is believed to depict the tiny scorpion that the great hunter Orion killed. Because he had killed the scorpion, Orion bragged that he was the greatest hunter in the world. When Hera, Zeus’ wife, heard this, she was not happy about it, and she sent a poisonous scorpion to attack Orion. For days, Orion fought with the creature, and was finally stung to death. In remembrance of the event, Hera set the scorpion in the sky. You will notice that the scorpion follows Orion constantly around the sky, as the scorpion rises as Orion is sinking.

Finding the constellation in the sky

The Scorpion can always be seen in the summer in the northern hemisphere if you look to the horizon in the south. Still, the best time to see it is from the southern hemisphere in July, when it passes over high in the sky. Its brightest star, Antares, is flanked by a star on either side. By connecting Antares with Arcturus in the Herdsman (Boötes) and Spica in the Virgin (Virgo), a large triangle is formed.

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