Ophiuchus, 13th constellation of zodiac

earthsky.org | 7/23/2019 | Bruce McClure
fofo (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2019/07/2019-July-23-Ophiuchus-SerpensCauda-SerpensCaput-300x300.jpg

Tonight, look for the faint constellation Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer. From the Northern Hemisphere, look southward at nightfall. From the Southern Hemisphere, look more overhead around mid-evening. From all parts of Earth, Ophiuchus crosses the sky westward as Earth spins under the sky, and as evening deepens into late night. Ophiuchus is sometimes called the 13th or forgotten constellation of the zodiac.

The sun passes in front of Ophiuchus from about November 30 to December 18. And yet no one ever says they’re born when the sun is in Ophiuchus. That’s because Ophiuchus is a constellation – not a sign – of the zodiac.

Urania - Mirror - Set - Constellation - Cards

Ophiuchus in Urania’s Mirror, a boxed set of 32 constellation cards first published in 1824. Image via www.ianridpath.com.

What’s the difference? The 12 signs of the tropical zodiac represent equal 30 degree divisions of the sky, while the 13 constellations of the zodiac are of various sizes.

Example - Sun - Resides - Front - Sign

That’s why, for example, the sun resides in front of each zodiacal sign for a precise interval of about a month. Meanwhile, the sun is in front of the constellations for varying amounts of time, for example, in front of the constellation Virgo for about 1 1/2 months and in front of constellation Scorpius for about a week.

The planet Jupiter and the bright red star Antares in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion can help you find Ophiuchus in the night...
(Excerpt) Read more at: earthsky.org
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