Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 21:16:02 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Ophiuchus

Ophiuchus is a large constellation extending from Hercules in the north, across the celestial equator, to Scorpius in the south. It represents the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, who is depicted holding a serpent (the constellation Serpens), a traditional symbol for healing. The constellation contains several globular clusters. Its brightest star is Alpha Ophiuchi, magnitude 2.1, also known as Rasalhague, derived from an Arabic term meaning "head of the serpent collector."

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The Serpent Bearer
  • Pronounced: Oaf-ee-YOU-kuss
  • Genitive: Ophiuchi
  • Abbreviation: Oph
  • Highest in the Sky: June to July
  • Size Ranking: 11th
  • Coverage Area: 948 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 17 hours
  • Declination:
  • Visibility: 60°N to 73°S

 Notable Objects

  • Barnard's Star: Red dwarf star
  • M9: Globular cluster
  • M10: Globular cluster
  • M12: Globular cluster
  • M14: Globular cluster
  • M19: Globular cluster
  • M62: Globular cluster
  • M107: Globular cluster
  • NGC 6369: Little Ghost Nebula

 Named Stars

  • Rasalhague, Alpha Ophiuchi
  • Cebalrai, Beta Ophiuchi
  • Yed Prior, Delta Ophiuchi
  • Yed Posterior, Epsilon Ophiuchi
  • Sabik, Eta Ophiuchi
  • Marfik, Lambda Ophiuchi

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Rho Ophiuchi

 A multiple star. Binoculars show it as a star of magnitude 4.6 with two wide companions of magnitudes 6.8 and 7.3. A small telescope with high magnification reveals that the brightest star has a closer companion of magnitude 5.7.

36 Ophiuchi

 A pair of near-identical orange dwarf stars of 5th magnitude, divisible with a small telescope. They lie 20 light-years away and orbit each other every 500 years or so.

70 Ophiuchi

 A binary star consisting of yellow and orange dwarfs, magnitudes 4.2 and 6.1, that lie 17 light-years away and orbit each other every 88 years. They are slowly moving apart as seen from Earth, and should currently be divisible with all but the smallest apertures.

Barnard's Star

 The second closest star to the Sun, 5.9 light-years away. It is a cool and faint red dwarf of magnitude 9.5 and is hence far too faint to be seen with the naked eye.

M10 & M12

 Two globluar clusters about 3 degrees apart. Both are visible through binoculars, appearing about half the size of the full Moon, although a telescope of moderate aperture is needed to resolve individual stars. M10 is the closer cluster at 14,000 light-years, compared with 18,000 light-years for M12.

NGC 6633

 An open cluster of similar apparent size to the full Moon, visible through binoculars.

IC 4655

 A larger and scattered open cluster visible with binoculars.


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