Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 21:44:43 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Serpens

Serpens uniquely consists of two separate areas that, taken together, are regarded as one constellation. It depict a serpent coiled around Ophiuchus, who holds the head (Serpens Caput) in his left hand and the tail (Serpens Cauda) in his right. The constellation's brightest star, Alpha Serpentis, magnitude 2.6, is also known as Unukalhai, a name derived from an Arabic term that means "the serpent's neck."

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The Serpent
  • Pronounced: SIR-penz
  • Genitive: Serpentis
  • Abbreviation: Ser
  • Highest in the Sky: June to August
  • Size Ranking: 23rd
  • Coverage Area: 637 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 17 hours
  • Declination:
  • Visibility: 70°N to 67°S

 Notable Objects

  • IC 4756: Open galactic cluster
  • M5: Globular cluster
  • M16: Eagle Nebula
  • Theta Serpentis: Binary star

 Named Stars

  • Unukalhai, Alpha Serpentis
  • Alya, Theta Serpentis

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Delta Serpenits

A binary star. Its 4th-magnitude primary and its 5th-magnitude partner can be divided with a small telescope and high magnification. Their orbital period is estimated to be several thousand years.

Theta Serpentis

 A wide double star. The components of magnitudes 4.6 and 5.0 can be separated through a small telescope.

Nu Serpentis

 A wide double with 4th- and 8th-magnitude components that are divisible with binoculars or a small telescope.

Tau-1 Serpentis

 A 5th-magnitude star, the brightest member of a triangular field of stars that fans out toward Iota and Kappa Serpentis.


 A globular cluster about 25,000 light-years away. It can be seen through binoculars, appearing about half the size of the full Moon. A telescope of moderate aperture resolves its brightest stars; it also reveals a condensed center and chains of stars in the outer regions.


 An open cluster visible through binoculars or a small telescope. It appears hazy, since the stars are embedded in the Eagle Nebula, which shows up well only with large apertures and on photographs. The cluster and nebula are over 8,000 light-years away.

 Where to?

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Up Next- Sextans 



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