Have I got a treat for you. With the help of the Starry Night astronomy program and a little digital manipulation on my part, I hope that I can make it easier for you to find and enjoy one of my favorite sights of the Summer sky. It is early Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and the one of the most beautiful constellations of the sky is rising in the Southeast right after dark. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, this is your beautiful Winter constellation, which rises in the East. It's Scorpius. The really bright, reddish star at its center is Antares. Its name means, the rival of Ares (Mars); and it is the heart of the Scorpion and one of the four, ancient Royal Stars. This negative image shows the major stars and why so many ancient cultures called it after the scorpion. The ancient Greeks said that Scorpius killed Orion, poor guy. That's why it is on the opposite side of the ecliptic, or zodiac, from Orion. The two really don't get along. Never hang out together. Sad but true, some people hold grudges over the littlest things. *G*
From a different perspective, Scorpius is call the Maui's Fish Hook by the Polynesians. One look at the constellation and you can see why. The demi-god Maui was supposed to have pulled up the islands with it. The Polynesians were relating to what was important in their world view... land and fish.
The very first time that I saw Scorpius clearly, I was in Hawaii. My first thought was that it looked rather like a diamond necklace hanging in the sky. You see? It all depends upon your point of view. Maybe it's true that diamonds are a girl's best friend. For summer, Scorpius is definitely one of mine.
I am having trouble with the original image that I wanted to include as a naked eye view. I will try to come back and edit it in later. Please be patient with me. Don't miss the opportunity to see this beautiful constellation on your next clear, dark evening.
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