Aries (Pronounciation:Air-ees, Abbrev:Ari, Latin:Arietis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Aries takes up 441.395 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.07% of the night sky. Aries is the 39th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Ram . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.
There are 4 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 966 stars. There are 57 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Aries is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Aries is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.
There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.
The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.
You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 58.66 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 165.65 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 113.55 light years.
The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.
The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 15713 and it is 108721.1 light years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.
The dimmest star that can be seen in Aries with the naked eye is 29 Arietis. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 6. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan.
Hamal is one of those rare stars that is an Alpha star and has stars in orbit round it. The other stars that spring to mind are Aldebaran in the nearby constellation of Taurus and Fomalhaut, the Alpha star in Piscis Austrinus. Just because the star is an Alpha star doesn't mean that the planet will or will not have life on the planet, we just don't know.
Teegarden's Star is named after the person who studied it, Bronnard Teegarden who was working at N.A.S.A. at the time. At a distance of 20 light years, it is one of the closest brown dwarf stars that have been discovered.
From the beginning of the year, the constellation can be seen in a south westerly direction. If you can locate Orion which is one of the easiest constellations to spot the look to the right. The first constellation that you will come to is Taurus but after Taurus, you will find Aries. Throughout the first four months, it will be gradually getting lower in the sky as it moves westerly. It will reappear on the horizon near the end of August in the north east. The highest it gets is about Feb/Mar and then starts to decrease.
From a position in Sydney, you can see Aries from the beginning of the year in a northerly direction. To find Aries, look also for Aries but instead of look to the right and slightly up, look down and to the left. Taurus is still separating the two constellations. The constellation will disappear in March and only reappear in late September.
Athamas's son Phrixus and daughter Helle was carried by Aries to Colchis so that they could escape their stepmother Ino. Phrixus made it to safety but Helle fell into some water and became Hellepoint. Once Phrixus was safe, he sacrificed the Ram, its fleece was flung onto a Grove of Ares. The fleece turned to gold. Jason and the Argonauts sought out this fleece for its healing properties.
There are 27 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Northern Daytime May Arietids||24th March|
|Daytime Epsilon Arietids||24 Apr- 27 May||09-May||Epsilon Arietis|
|Epsilon Arietids||May 9/10||Epsilon Arietis|
|May Arietids||May 16/17||Epsilon Arietis|
|Daytime Epsilon Arietids||24th May||Epsilon Arietis|
|Arietids||Sept 7-Oct 27||Oct. 8/9||Epsilon Arietis|
|Southern October delta Arietids||9th October||Botein|
|Tau Arietids||2nd November||Tau1 Arietis|
|Delta Arietids||December 8-January 2||Dec. 8/9||Botein|
The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Aries Star List page.
|Name||Bayer||Distance (Lt.Yr.)||Right Ascension||Declination||Spectral Type||Colour|
|Hamal||Alpha Arietis||65.81||02h 07m 10.29||+23d 27` 46.0||K2III||Orange|
|Sheratan||Beta Arietis||58.66||01h 54m 38.35||+20d 48` 29.9||A5V...||White|
|Mesarthim||Gamma Arietis||164.07||01h 53m 31.77||+19d 17` 38.7||A1p Si||White|
|Bharani||165.65||02h 49m 58.99||+27d 15` 38.8||B8Vn||Blue/White|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||Yes|
|Area||441.395 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||1.07%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||17|
|Meteor Shower Count||27|
|Nearest Star||VX Arietis|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||Hamal|
|Dimmest Star||29 Arietis|
|Furthest Star||HIP 15713|
|Bright Star Count||57|
|Hipparcos Star Count||966|
|Main Star Count||4|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Triangulum|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|NGC 1156||Dwarf Irregular Galaxy||+25:14:14||02h 59h 42m 2|
|NGC 2371||Planetary Nebula||4,500 Ly||29:29:39.20||07h 25h 33m 83|
|NGC 691||Galaxy in a Group of Galaxies||+21 45 35.895315871||01 50 41m 7086928919|
|NGC 772||Galaxy in a Pair of Galaxies||+19 00 27.476398641||01 59 19m 5556685548|
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