Scorpius (skôr´-pi-us)—the Scorpion. (face South.)

Location.—Scorpius, one of the signs of the zodiac, is a beautiful star group, and one that is easily traced out. It lies just under the Serpent Bearer, between Sagittarius and Libra.

The resemblance to a Scorpion is not difficult to see, hence this constellation is perhaps the most aptly named of any.

The ruddy star Antares, the brightest star in the constellation, is in the heart of the Scorpion. It lies about 40° southwest of Ras Alhagu

, in Ophiuchus, and a little over 20° west of the bow of Sagittarius. The fact that it is the most brilliant star in this region of the sky renders its identity unmistakable. It is one of the reddest stars in the firmament.

There are several star clusters and double stars to be seen in this constellation. Their position is indicated in the diagram.

The curved tail of the Scorpion is very conspicuous. λ and υ are a striking pair and the fine clusters above them can be seen with the naked eye.

A record of a lunar occultation of β Scorpii in 295 b.c. is extant.

Note a pair just below β. They are known as ω1 and ω2.

In this region of the sky have appeared many of the brilliant temporary stars, the first one in astronomical annals being discovered in 134 b.c.

Scorpius is mentioned by all the early writers on astronomy and is supposed to be so named because in Egypt it was a sickly time of the year when the sun entered this sign.