Scorpius Hunting The Hunter

Scorpius is the constellation representing the giant scorpion that killed the great hunter Orion.

According to one myth it is written that Orion boasted to the goddess Artemis and her mother that he would kill every animal on the earth. Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures.

Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. Scorpius and Orion wrestled for days on end to no avail. Finally the scorpion stung the hunter in his heel causing Orion's death.

King of the gods Zeus, enjoyed the battle so much he felt the combatants should be honored. The Gods placed Orion in the sky along with the scorpion, but placed them at opposite sides of the sky so that the scorpion could never hurt Orion again.

There is also a version that Orion was better than the goddess Artemis but, discretion being the better part of valor, humbly stated that Artemis was better than he was.

Artemis took a liking to Orion. The god Apollo, Artemis' twin brother, grew angry and sent a scorpion to attack Orion. After Orion was killed, Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion up in the sky.

So every winter Orion hunts in the sky, but every summer he flees as the scorpion comes.

Scorpius itself is chased by the archer Sagittarius and his arrow is aimed at the scorpion's heart... the star Antares.

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Seeking The Scorpion's Sting

Seen from the northern hemisphere the scorpion seems to scuttle across the southern sky. But in the southern hemisphere, the constellation rises high in the sky dominating during the summer months.

Right Ascension: 17 hours

Declination: -40 degrees

Visible between latitudes +40 and -90 degrees

Best seen in July at 9:00 PM local time

Named Stars: Antares(Alpha Scorpii), Graffias(Beta1 Scorpii), Dschubba(delta Scorpii), Sargas(Theta Scorpii), Shaula(Lambda Scorpii), Jabbah(Nu Scorpii), Girtab(Xi Scorpii), Alniyat(Tau Scorpii), Lesath(Upsilon Scorpii)

Antares is the brightest star and is seen as the scorpion's heart.

Omega1 Scorpii and Omega2 Scorpii are an optical double that can be separated with the unaided eye.

Its position on the Milky Way puts plenty of deep sky objects in the constellation scorpio. A good pair of binoculars will reveal some nice views of these objects.

Some sights of interest are:

open clusters M6 the butterfly cluster and M7.

Globular clusters M4 and M80 and open star cluster NGC6231.

With Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east, Scorpio is a large constellation in the southern hemisphere. Scorpius would be even larger except the claws of the scorpion were removed and became part of the Libra constellation.

Although the scorpio constellation is one of the oldest zodiac signs, the sun actually spends about a week to ten days in the constellation.

Most of the time the sun is moving through neighboring Ophiuchus. Also on the ecliptic boundary but not a part of the zodiac.

Lupus, Norma, Ara, and Corona Australis form the other boundaries.

› Scorpius
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