History of the Constellations

Stars and Constellations

Scorpius

| Prev: Sceptrum Brandenburgicum | Index of Constellations | Next: Sci |

Contents of this page: | Description | Skylore | Modern Culture | Origin and History | Asterisms | Star Clusters | Submit new info... |

Images (at bottom of page): | Scorpius Chart: (Figure 1) | Ptolemy, 1541-const, page Scorpius: (Figure 2) | Kepler, 1606, page 000tp: (Figure 3) | Kepler, 1606, page plate: (Figure 4) | Bayer, 1661, page zEe: (Figure 5) | Bayer, 1697, page K1r: (Figure 6) | Bayer, 1697, page K1v: (Figure 7) | Bayer, 1697, page K2r: (Figure 8) | Bode, 1801, page r: (Figure 9) | Aspin, 1825, page Scorpius: (Figure 10) | Images digitized by Hannah Magruder.

Constellation Data

Description

East of Virgo along the ecliptic the constellation Scorpius creeps above the treetops, with his menacing tail below, and stinger above.

The Romans cut off the scorpion’s claws to make the constellation Libra the Balance.

Continue eastward along the ecliptic to the next constellation, Sagittarius the Archer.

Skylore and Literature

Gaia sent Scorpius to kill Orion; now they circle on opposite sides of the sky. Reddish heart Antares, can rival Mars. Lost its claws to Libra in Roman times, when the vernal equinox was located in Libra. Fish-hook to Polynesians.

Modern Culture

Origin and History

Scorpius is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

Asterisms

Fish Hook

Star Clusters

M4 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.5.

M6 (Galactic cluster), mag. 5.5.

M7 (Galactic cluster), mag. 3.3.

M80 (Globular cluster), mag. 7.5.

Submit new info...

Many excellent websites provide a variety of information about constellations for amateur astronomers and telescope users (see sidebar links for a few of these). These constellation pages are not intended to duplicate those efforts, but are devoted to two aims: First, they are intended to assist the beginning skywatcher, including students in history of science survey courses, in becoming familiar with Basic Celestial Phenomena (BCP). Second, these pages are devoted to the history of the constellations and the history of astronomy. They are intended to serve as a repository for collaborative use and reference. Do you have additional historical information about the stars or constellation described on this page? Please submit additional information to kmagruder@ou.edu. Submissions will be attributed. Editors for historical information are Kerry Magruder, JoAnn Palmeri, Peter Barker, and Laura Gibbs.

Oklahoma History of Science exhibits: http://hos.ou.edu/exhibits/. Page revised 4/15/04

Bad links, misplaced images, or questions? Contact Kerry Magruder. Thank you.

"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile." R. W. Emerson, Nature

Images

Figure 1 Figure 1 - Return to Text

Sco Chart
Figure 2 Figure 2 - Return to Text

Ptolemy, 1541-const

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 3 Figure 3 - Return to Text

Kepler, 1606

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 4 Figure 4 - Return to Text

Kepler, 1606

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 5 Figure 5 - Return to Text

Bayer, 1661

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 6 Figure 6 - Return to Text

Bayer, 1697

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 7 Figure 7 - Return to Text

Bayer, 1697

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 8 Figure 8 - Return to Text

Bayer, 1697

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 9 Figure 9 - Return to Text

Bode, 1801

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)
Figure 10 Figure 10 - Return to Text

Aspin, 1825

Zoom - 5 in | 10 in
Download TIFF (large file)

Exhibit credit: Kerry Magruder.

Exhibit Links
Web Links
Downloads
Endorsements

These teaching resources provided by the History of Science Department at the University of Oklahoma.

Unless otherwise indicated, all images courtesy History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries. Image Terms of Use.

OU LogoOU College of Arts and Sciences Online Logo

OU Disclaimer | Contacts: Content - Kerry Magruder, Website - Eric Bruning