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Ophiuchus

The Serpent Bearer

Abbreviation: Oph
Genitive: Ophiuchi
Origin: [antiquity]

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In Greek mythology, this figure represents the healer Asclepius who was the a son of the god Apollo. Asclepius was a healer and the Greek god of medicine. Even today, the snake-entwined staff - the rod of Asclepius - is the symbol of the medical arts. After his death, Asclepius was raised into the heavens as the constellation Ophiuchus where he is depicted holding a snake.

The obsolete constellation Taurus Poniatovii looks over the shoulder of Ophiuchus marked by the star Cebalrai.

Ophiuchus is one of thirteen constellations crossed by the ecliptic, the other twelve being the signs of the zodiac. For this reason, the Sun spends part of the year out of the zodiacal constellations and within the boundaries of Ophiuchus.

Notable Features

Designation Name Description
α Oph Rasalhague
β Oph Cebalrai
δ Oph Yed Prior
ε Oph Yed Posterior
η Oph Sabik
λ Oph Marfik
36 Oph Guniibuu
V2500 Oph Barnard's Star At a distance of just under 6 light years, Barnard's Star is the second-closest star system to the Sun. Despite its proximity, however, it cannot be seen with the naked eye.
M9 One of the closer globular cluster, this object can be resolved into individual stars with a medium-size telescope.
M10 This globular cluster is even closer and brighter than M9.
M12 Binoculars are necessary to see this globular cluster.
M14 This globular cluster is also easily accessible with binoculars although a telescope will be necessary to resolve individual stars.
M19 Optical aids are also required for this seventh magnitude globular cluster.
M62 Another seventh magnitude globular cluster, this object contains a high number of variable stars.
M107 A telescope is necessary to see this faint, loose globular cluster.