International Star Registry

All Constellations

Scorpius - Scorpion

Scorpio is a bright constellation in the southern skies most visible from Chicago at the end of July. Antares, the Alpha, is a 1 magnitude red star, so named because Antares was the rival of Mars, also red in color. Antares is the heart of the Scorpion. Shaula, Lambda Scorpii, is a 1.6 magnitude star and is the tail. Scorpio contains many large clusters and nebulae easily seen with binoculars.

Scorpio is situated southward and east of Libra and is on the meridian about the tenth of July, right after the Corona Borealis by about fifty minutes if anyone should happen to ask you.

One myth has it that Apollo, worried about his sister Artemis’ chastity, sent the scorpion to kill Orion. Scorpio and Orion were placed as far away from each other as possible in the heavens to avoid any further battles.

This sign was represented in ancient times by various symbols, sometimes as a snake or crocodile. Most commonly it was depicted as a scorpion as found on the Mithraic monuments before 200 B.C. Evidence exists that these monuments were constructed when the vernal equinox accorded with Taurus.

The Egyptians, or Chaldeans, who first arranged the zodiac, might have placed Scorpio here to denote that when the sun enters this sign the diseases incident to the fruit season would prevail. Autumn abounded in fruit and often brought with it a great variety of diseases. It seems fitting to represent this season with the venomous scorpion which wounds with a sting of its tail.

According to Ovid, this famous scorpion sprang from the earth at the command of the imperious Juno and fatally stung Orion to punish the hero/hunter’s vanity for boasting that there was no animal on earth he couldn’t conquer.

It has been known as the constellation of the Apostle Bartholomew.

In China it was Ta Who, great fire and later, Tien He, the celestial Scorpion.

In the Hebrew zodiac this sign is allotted to Dan because it is written, “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the Path.”
Right Ascension 04:50
Diameter (°)22
Area (square °)497
Opposition Jun 04
Size Rank 33rd
Brightness Rank 5th