The Aquarius Constellation's Cup Is Kinda Empty

The Aquarius constellation comes about by Zeus kidnapping a young boy.

In ancient Greek mythology Zeus sent, or transformed himself, into the eagle Aquila. Aquila was used to capture Ganymede and return him to Mount Olympus to serve the Gods as cup-bearer.

Ganymede would become immortal as Aquarius The Water-bearer. As payment Zeus gave his father some of the God's horses.

Aquarius was associated with the bringing of floods to the Egyptians and other peoples of the times.

The Sun rises in this constellation during the annual spring floods of the Nile river.

The winter solstice was in Aquarius during the Early Bronze Age. This point, now known as the Tropic Of Capricorn, has since moved into Sagittarius due to precession.

Aquarius is best viewed in the southern sky during the autumn months.

Aquarius is one of the dimmest of the 12 zodiac constellations. The brightest star, Beta Aquarii, has an apparent magnitude of only 2.91. Compare that to the brightest star (after the Sun, of course) in the sky Sirius with an apparent magnitude of -1.46.

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aquarius constellation stars
aquarius constellation outline

Where To Get A Drink

In the area of the sky known as “the Sea” is where you will find the Aquarius constellation. This region has an abundance of water related constellations.

The Capricorn constellation is west with Pisces to the east. Nearby is Piscis Austrinus, Cetus and Delphinus. Aquila, Sculptor, Equuleus, and Pegasus round out the nearby constellations.

Right Ascension: 23 hours

Declination: -15 degrees

Visible between latitudes +65 and -90 degrees

Best seen in October at 9:00 PM local time

Named Stars: Sadalmelik(alpha Aquarii) Sadalsuud(Beta Aquarii) Sadalachbia(Gamma Aquarii) Skat(Delta Aquarii)

Albali(Epsilon Aquarii) Ancha(Theta Aquarii) Situla(Kappa Aquarii)

Globular clusters M2 and M72 are visible in Aquarius through small telescopes.

The Saturn Nebula,named because of its resemblance to the planet Saturn in telescopes, and the Helix Nebula reside in the Aquarius constellation. Both are visible in small backyard stargazer's telescopes.

The Helix Nebula(NGC7293) is one of the closest planetary nebula to Earth.

Despite its size and positioning Aquarius doesn't have a lot of deep-sky objects available for viewing.

What it does offer is the radiants of three major meteor showers.

The Eta Aquariids, The Delta Aquariids, and the Iota Aquariids.

The Eta Aquariids is the strongest of the three with a peak rate of about 35 meteors per hour.

This during the nights of the 5th and 6th May.

› Aquarius
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