Ophiuchus (Pronounciation:Off-you-cuss, Abbrev:Oph, Latin:Ophiuchi) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Ophiuchus takes up 948.34 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.3% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Serpent Holder . 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.
Ophiuchus is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Ophiuchus is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.
The brightest star in Ophiuchus is Rasalhague. There are 26 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Ophiuchus. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Ophiuchus Star List Page.
The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Ophiuchus is 2234. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 84. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 14.
There are 7 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 nearest star to Earth is Barnard's Star which is roughly about 5.95 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 154088 which is about 58.18 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 82191 which is located about 163081.7 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 Ophiuchus with the naked eye is V2213 Ophiuchi. 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
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.
To some people, Ophiuchus is the thirteenth sign of the Zodiac because the sun sets in this constellation during the year. Most astrologers will discount Ophiuchus but there are some that do recognise and produce horoscopes for this constellation. If you're born at the end of November or beginning of December, its likely your real star sign will be Ophiuchus and will explain why your horoscope forecast is always wrong. As Ophiuchus is inserted, other constellations will move too. For more information, have a look at my other Ophiuchus page.
Whilst Apollo was away, Coronis was unfaithful to him and bore a son Asclepius with Ischys. When Apollo found out, he killed his wife and removed the baby. The baby Asclepius was given to the Centaur Chiron who taught him medicine. He was able to raise people from the dead which angered Hades. The Underworld God, Hades asked Zeus to put an end to this and Asclepius was struck down by a thunderbolt. Asclepius created his medicines from the poisons of plants and snakes. After death, Asclepius became the constellation Ophiuchus. This constellation is sometimes referred to as the thirteenth star sign, the one that Astrologers ignore.
There are 12 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Ursids||December 17-25||Dec. 22||Kochab|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Area||948.34 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||2.3%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||26|
|Meteor Shower Count||12|
|Nearest Star||Barnard's Star|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 154088|
|Dimmest Star||V2213 Ophiuchi|
|Furthest Star||HIP 82191|
|Bright Star Count||84|
|Hipparcos Star Count||2234|
|Main Star Count||14|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||7|
|*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Hercules|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.
|Little Ghost Nebula||Planetary Nebula||-23d 45` 34.8||17h 29m 20m 45|
|Messier 10 (NGC6254)||Globular Cluster||14300||-04:06||16h 57m 1|
|Messier 107 (NGC6171)||Globular Cluster||20900||-13:04||16h 32m 5|
|Messier 12 (NGC6218)||Globular Cluster||15700||-01:57||16h 47m 2|
|Messier 14 (NGC6402)||Globular Cluster||30300||-03:15||17h 37m 6|
|Messier 19 (NGC6273)||Globular Cluster||28700||-26:16||17h 02m 6|
|Messier 62 (NGC6266)||Globular Cluster||22200||-30:07||17h 01m 2|
|Messier 9 (NGC6333)||Globular Cluster||25800||-18:31||17h 19m 2|
The Ursids radiate out from the Ursa Minor constellation rather than the larger Ursa Major, both the bear constellations. The radiant point is near the Kochab, also known as Beta Ursae Star. The associated comet is believed to be 8P/Tuttle which is due back in 2021 but shouldn`t hold out too much hope for a spectacular event as the last one wasn`t as expected.
|Max Activity Date||22 Dec|
|Activity Period||December 17-25|
|Zenith Hourly Rate||10|