Scorpius - Downloadable article
Filled with Milky Way treasures, the scorpion offers a cornucopia of open and globular clusters as well as bright nebulae.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Scorpius" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 4.
The warm, short nights of summer invite long looks toward the richest parts of our galaxy. Yet few of these regions can match Scorpius the Scorpion for the number and quality of deep-sky sights. The figure of Scorpius appears unmistakable in the south on summer evenings, looking surprisingly like its namesake.
First-magnitude Antares marks the heart of the scorpion. This red supergiant star lies 600 light-years from Earth and shines with the light of nearly 20,000 suns. The very name suggests its noticeably reddish color, coming from the Greek words anti Ares, which means "rival of Mars." Two 3rd-magnitude stars flank Antares, Sigma (σ) Scorpii to the northwest and Tau (τ) Scorpii to the southeast. The most distinctive feature of Scorpius, however, is the arc of seven bright stars that forms the scorpion's stinger. Although the stinger lies fairly far south for Northern Hemisphere observers, it clears the horizon from most of the United States. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 4.
|Deep-sky objects in Scorpius|
NGC 6072, M80 (NGC 6093), M4 (NGC 6121), NGC 6124, NGC 6144, Alpha Scorpii (Antares), NGC 6153, NGC 6192, NGC 6231, NGC 6259, Barnard 50, NGC 6302 (Bug Nebula), NGC 6334 (Cat's Paw Nebula), NGC 6337, NGC 6357, NGC 6380, Ton 2, M6 (NGC 6405) (Butterfly Cluster), NGC 6441, M7 (NGC 6475) (Ptolemy's Cluster)