All about the SCORPIUS constellation


1. Scorpius means ‘scorpion’ in Latin
2. Evidence suggests recognition of the constellation since 3,000 years ago
3. Antares, which lies at the heart of Scorpius, is one of the brightest stars known
4. The same constellation is depicted by different Asian cultures as a fishhook, swan, and even as a coconut tree
5. Hosts a group of stars known as the Scorpius-Centaurus Association, which is believed to have formed around the same time as the dark nebula cloud

An overview

The constellation of Scorpius makes up a curved ‘S’ that branches into a set of claws on one end and bends into a stinger on the other. The constellation consists of 18 main stars, with the brightest being Antares, a red supergiant with a diameter 850 times larger than that of our sun.

It is one of the 12 Greek Zodiac constellations, and is mainly visible in just the southern hemisphere, from the months of March to October.

The myth

In Greek mythology, there was a great hunter named Orion, who grew arrogant of his hunting prowess and powers. He vowed to kill each and every animal that existed on the Earth.

Gaia, a primordial being that was also known as the goddess of the Earth and the protector of animals, was enraged by Orion’s declaration. To stop him before he could begin his promised conquest, Gaia approached Scorpio, a giant scorpion, to ask for his aide.

Scorpio was then sent by Gaia to kill Orion, and it did so with his giant stinger. To reward Scorpio for its bravery and heroism, Gaia proceeded to place it in the night sky, birthing the constellation of Scorpius, which can be seen chasing the constellation of Orion across the sky throughout the year, except during the winter months where Orion is left to hunt in peace.

The constellation

The Constellation of Libra is situated in the southern sky’s third quadrant, and is visible between latitudes -90 to +45 degrees. It neighbors the heart of the Milky Way, as well as the constellations of Ara, Libra, Lupus, Norma, Ophiuchus, and Sagittarius.

Of the 18 main stars it consists, there exists seven celestial bodies of note: Graffias and Dschubba, which are both multiple-star-systems; Alniyat, a four-star-system; Antares, a two-star-system with a red supergiant primary star that’s 850 times larger than our sun; Sargas, a white giant 300 light years away from Earth; Lesath a blue supergiant that’s four times hotter than our sun; and Shaula, a three-star-system that hosts one of the two stars that make up the ‘Cat’s Eyes’.