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A Field Book of the Stars/Ophiuchus and Serpens

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OPHIUCHUS (of-i-u'-kus)—THE SERPENT BEARER, AND SERPENS. (Face Southwest.)

Location.—A line drawn from (ε) Delphinus to (γ) in Aquila, prolonged about 30 degrees, strikes the star Ras Alhague, the brightest star in the constellation and the head of Ophiuchus. It is at one angle of an isosceles triangle, of which Altair is at the apex, and Vega the third angle.

Two constellations are here combined. Ophiuchus is represented as an old man, holding in his hands a writhing serpent. Ras Algethi, the head of Hercules, lies just west of Ras Alhague.

Equally distant southeast and southwest of Ras Alhague, are to be seen two stars close together, representing the shoulders of Ophiuchus. His foot rests on the Scorpion just above Antares.

The head of Serpens is the star group in the form of an "X" just below the Crown.

1604 indicates the spot where in that year a famous temporary star appeared, called Kepler's star.

Note the diamond group of stars below the "X", outlined in dotted line, and the asterism "The Bull of Poniatowskia" just east of (γ).

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