Constellation Ophiuchus (Serpent Bearer)

Ophiuchus
Ophiuchus: IAU Constellation Map [150]

Properties

Ophiuchus is a large but not very impressive constellation with 948 square degrees and lies between Hercules and Scorpius. On a dark night, with a little imagination, you can see a great man in the stars like a two-year-old would draw him. The southern part of the constellation lies in the band of the Milky Way. The center of the constellation culminates around midnight on June 11th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names:

  • α Oph: Rasalhague, Ras Alhague
  • β Oph: Cebalrai, Kelb Alrai, Kabalrai, Cheleb, Celb-Al-Rai
  • δ Oph: Yed Prior, Yad, Yed, Jed
  • ε Oph: Yed Posterior
  • η Oph: Sabik
  • λ Oph: Marfic, Marfik, Marsic
Data for constellation Ophiuchus [150]
IAU NameOphiuchus
IAU GenitiveOphiuchi
IAU Abbr.Oph
English NameSerpent Bearer
Season (47° N)March … August
Right Ascension16h 01m 33s … 18h 45m 50s
Declination-30° 12' 44" … +14° 23' 15"
Area948 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Her, Ser, Lib, Sco, Sgr, Aql

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions

Mythology and History

The mighty serpent bearer is associated with Asklepios, the Greek god of healing. He was the son of Apollon with his lover, the beautiful Koronis from Larissa.

One day Apollon's raven observed the Koronis cheating with a youth from Thessaly and reported this to his master. Angry at his infidelity, Apollo picked up a bow and arrow and shot them. Koronis sank together with a sigh that he would now also lose his unborn child. Apollo now regretted what he had done. He saved the child, Asklepios, and brought him up to Chiron, a wise centaur.

Asclepius grew up in the care of the centaur Chiron and learned the art of healing from him. According to another version of this legend, he is said to have got his knowledge of medicinal herbs from a snake. Asklepios developed his healing art more and more and refined it more and more until he was finally so far advanced that he became a master of life and death. He had acquired the ability to bring the dead back to life. However, an oracle prophesied that if he dared to do so, he would be struck by Zeus' lightning. So Asklepios kept this art as his secret and was careful not to use it.

Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud
Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud: Star forming region with open cluster Collinder 302 with Ophiuchus molecular cloud (Antares Nebula vdB 107, nebula IC 4603, ρ Ophiuchi nebula IC 4604, nebula IC 4605, Sharpless 2-9, many dark clouds), plus globular clusters M 4 and NGC 6144. North is left; Canon EOS 20Da, zoom lens 131 mm f:5.6 ; 145 min @ ISO 1600; Astrofarm Tivoli, Namibia, 1345 m ü. M.; © 5. 6. 2011 Eduard von Bergen, Hansjörg Wälchli

Hippolytus was the grandson of the sea god Poseidon. His stepmother Phaedra, the daughter of Poseidon's wife Pasiphae, tried to seduce him and desecrate his father's camp. But Hippolytus rejected them and so Phaedra slandered him to his father, who then cursed and disowned him. Hippolytus died shortly afterwards in an accident in his car when the horses were frightened by the sea monster. Asklepios happened to be there and regretted the unjust death of Hyppolytus. He brought it back to life. When Zeus found out about this, he hurled one of his bolts of lightning at Asclepius and killed him. But in order to honor him for his healing arts, he was accepted into Olympus and named the god of healing. Today he can still be seen in the sky with the snake. In many depictions the snake winds around his walking stick and is now the symbol of the medical professions. [20]

Asklepios had two daughters: Hygeia and Panacea. It is obvious how their names became familiar, health-related terms. Asklepios and his daughters have long been the patron saints of modern medicine. The "Hippocratic Oath" was named after Hippocrates, the Greek medic from antiquity (460-377 BC). This is often seen as the father of medicine. [102] The oath begins with the words: «I swear by Apollon the doctor and by Asklepios, Hygieia and Panakeia as well as invoking all gods and goddesses as witnesses that I take this oath to the best of my ability and in accordance with my judgment and will fulfill this contract.» [139]

According to another legend, Asklepios is said to have been the ship's doctor for the Argo Navis, who Jason and the Argonauts in search of the golden fleece of the Aries accompanied. Others suspect that the constellation Ophiuchus is Enkidu, the companion of Gilgamesh, who walks head to head across the sky with him in the form of Hercules. [7]

But there were also other interpretations, such as Laocoon, that Poseidon priest at Troy, who warned the Trojans not to trust the famous Trojan horse; but no sooner had he pronounced this warning than gigantic sea snakes came from the island of Tenedos, killing him and his two sons. [20]

The ancient Mesopotamians saw the sun god Marduk with the dragon Tiamat, the predecessor of the snake, in this constellation. [102]

The name Ophiuchus occurs in the earliest Greek astronomy and was also well known to the Romans. It is derived from the Greek word ophis (snake) and cheiro-o (handle). There are also some different spellings, such as Ophiulchus, Ophiultus and similar. According to the identification with Asklepios one finds Asclepios and Aesculapius. In Johannes Hevelius Uranographia from 1690 one finds the name Serpentarius. [20]

Catalogs

Yale Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991) [154]
HR B F RA [hms] Dec [dms] vMag spType dMag Sep ["]
6056δ116 14 20.7-03 41 402.74 M0.5III e10.465.5
6075ε216 18 19.3-04 41 333.24 G9.5IIIbFe-0.5 9.1110.6
6104ψ416 24 06.2-20 02 154.50 K0II-III
6112ρ516 25 35.2-23 26 505.02 B2IV 0.73.2
6113ρ516 25 35.1-23 26 465.92 H B2V 0.73.2
6118χ716 27 01.4-18 27 234.42 B2IV:pe v
6129υ316 27 48.1-08 22 184.63 A3m 3.21.1
6147φ816 31 08.3-16 36 464.28 G8+IIIa 6.8120.0
6149λ1016 30 54.8+01 59 023.82 A0V+A4V 1.01.2
6153ω916 32 08.2-21 27 594.45 A7p
61711216 36 21.5-02 19 295.75 K2V
6175ζ1316 37 09.5-10 34 022.56 O9.5Vn t
62051416 41 42.5+01 10 525.74 F2-4III-IV
62241616 45 29.7+01 01 136.03 B9.5III
62321916 47 09.8+02 03 526.10 A3V 3.623.4
62432016 49 50.0-10 46 594.65 F7IV
62552116 51 24.9+01 12 585.51 A2V s 1.50.4
62802316 54 35.7-06 09 145.25 K2III
6281ι2516 54 00.5+10 09 554.38 B8V
62912416 56 48.0-23 09 005.58 A0V 0.31.0
6299κ2716 57 40.1+09 22 303.20 K2III
63102617 00 09.5-24 59 215.75 F4V
63183017 01 03.6-04 13 214.82 K4III 4.894.1
63212917 01 51.2-18 53 086.26 K0III
6378η3517 10 22.7-15 43 292.43 A2V 0.40.3
63933717 12 27.8+10 35 075.33 M2IIIa 8.730.3
64013617 15 21.0-26 36 105.11 K1V 0.04.6
64023617 15 20.8-26 36 055.07 K0V 0.04.6
64154117 16 36.7-00 26 434.73 K2III 3.01.0
6424ο3917 18 00.7-24 17 135.20 K0II-III 1.510.2
6425ο3917 18 00.5-24 17 036.80 F6IV-V 1.510.2
6445ξ4017 21 00.2-21 06 464.39 F1III-IV 4.53.7
6453θ4217 22 00.6-24 59 583.27 B2IV 2.00.0
64594317 23 21.6-28 08 355.35 K5III
64864417 26 22.2-24 10 314.17 A3m
64924517 27 21.3-29 52 014.29 F5IVDel Sct*
6498σ4917 26 30.9+04 08 254.34 K2II
65195117 31 25.0-23 57 464.81 B9.5Ve
65455217 35 18.5-22 02 386.57 B8p
65485317 34 36.7+09 35 125.81 A2V 2.041.3
6556α5517 34 56.1+12 33 362.08 A5III 0.1
6567μ5717 37 50.7-08 07 084.62 B8II-IIIp:Mn
65955817 43 25.8-21 41 004.87 F6V 1.80.0
6603β6017 43 28.4+04 34 022.77 K2III
66096117 44 34.0+02 34 466.17 A1IV-V 0.420.6
6629γ6217 47 53.6+02 42 263.75 A0Vnp
6698ν6417 59 01.6-09 46 253.34 K0IIIaCN-1
67126618 00 15.8+04 22 074.64 B2Ve
67146718 00 38.7+02 55 543.97 B5Ib 4.354.5
67236818 01 45.2+01 18 194.45 A2Vn 2.50.6
6733τ6918 03 05.0-08 10 495.94 F5V 0.71.9
6734τ6918 03 04.9-08 10 505.24 F2V 0.71.9
67527018 05 27.3+02 29 584.03 K0V 1.81.9
67707118 07 18.4+08 44 024.64 G8III
67717218 07 21.0+09 33 503.73 A4IV s 7.754.4
67957318 09 33.8+03 59 365.73 F2V 1.20.3
68667418 20 52.1+03 22 384.86 G8III 7.328.1

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Planetary Nebulae
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 630917 14 04.3-12 54 37PN10.811.50.32B, S, bet 2 st v nrPK 9+14.1, CS=14.4, Box nebula
NGC 636917 29 20.4-23 45 33PN12.911.40.63!! annular, pB, S, RPK 2+5.1, ESO 520-PN3, AM 1726-234, CS=14.7
NGC 657218 12 06.4+06 51 15PN9.08.10.25planetary, vB, vS, R, l hazyPK 34+11.1, CS=13.6
IC 463417 01 33.6-21 49 32PN10.710.90.4Planetary, stellarPK 0+12.1, ESO 587-PN1, CS=13.8
Galactic Nebulae
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
IC 460316 25 24.0-24 28 00RN+*35 × 20eF, vL, dif, st invLBN 1109, ESO 517-*N2, CED 131A
IC 460416 25 33.0-23 26 36RN+*60 × 50ρ Ophiuchi in eL nebLBN 1112, ESO 517-*N3, CED 131B, Rho Oph nebula
Open Clusters
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 652518 02 06.0+11 01 31OCL4Cl, P, st L
NGC 663318 27 15.1+06 30 30III2m4.620Cl, lC, st LOCL 90
IC 466517 46 12.0+05 43 00III2p4.270Cl, coOCL 85
Globular Clusters
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 617116 32 31.9-13 03 11X7.813globular, L, vRi, vmC, R, rrrM 107, GCL 44
NGC 621816 47 14.5-01 56 50IX6.116!! globular, vB, vL, iR, gmbM, rrr, st 10…M 12, GCL 46
NGC 623516 53 25.4-22 10 36X8.95pB, cL, iR, rrr, st 14…16GCL 48, ESO 586-SC5
NGC 625416 57 08.9-04 05 56VII6.620! globular, B, vL, R, gvmbM, rrr, st 10…15M 10, GCL 49
NGC 626617 01 12.6-30 06 42IV6.415! globular, vB, L, gmbM, rrr, st 14…16M 62, GCL 51, ESO 453-SC14
NGC 627317 02 37.7-26 16 03VIII6.817globular, vB, L, R, vCM, rrr, st 16M 19, GCL 52, ESO 518-SC7
NGC 628417 04 28.8-24 45 51IX8.96.2globular, B, L, R, CM, rrr, st 16…GCL 53, ESO 518-SC9
NGC 628717 05 09.4-22 42 27VII9.34.8globular, cB, L, R, gpmCM, rrr, st 16GCL 54, ESO 518-SC10
NGC 629317 10 10.4-26 34 52IV8.38.2globular, vB, L, R, psbM, rrr, st 16GCL 55, ESO 519-SC5
NGC 630417 14 32.5-29 27 42VI8.38globular, B, cL, R, lbM, rrr, st 16GCL 56, ESO 454-SC2
NGC 631617 16 37.4-28 08 22III8.15.4globular, cB, pS, R, gvmbM, rrr, st 16GCL 57, ESO 454-SC4
NGC 632517 17 59.2-23 45 55IV10.24.1pF, L, R, rrGCL 58, ESO 519-SC11
NGC 633317 19 11.8-18 30 57VIII7.812globular, B, L, R, eCM, rrr, st 14M 9, GCL 60, ESO 587-SC5
NGC 634217 21 10.2-19 35 12IV9.54.4cB, pS, lE, erGCL 61, ESO 587-SC6
NGC 635517 23 58.6-26 21 11GCL8.64.2cF, L, R, gbM, rrrGCL 63, ESO 519-SC15
NGC 635617 23 35.0-17 48 45II8.210globular, vB, cL, vgvmbM, rrr, st 20GCL 62, ESO 588-SC1
NGC 636617 27 44.3-05 04 34XI9.513F, L, vlbM (Auw 36)GCL 65
NGC 640117 38 36.9-23 54 30VIII7.44.8pB, pL, R, * 12 f invGCL 73, ESO 520-SC11
NGC 640217 37 36.1-03 14 43VIII7.611! globular, B, vL, R, eRi, vgmbM, rrr, st 15M 14, GCL 72
NGC 642617 44 54.7+03 10 15IX10.94.2vF, cL, E, vlbMGCL 76
NGC 651718 01 50.6-08 57 30IV10.14pB, pL, R, rrGCL 81
IC 125717 27 08.4-07 05 37V13.15F, pL, lbMOCL 51
Galaxies
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 622016 47 13.2-00 16 30Sab14.513.71.7 × 0.9eeF, pS, iR, 3 F st sUGC 10541, CGCG 25-4, NPM1G -00.0524
NGC 623416 51 57.2+04 23 03E015.414.40.4 × 0.4F, S, RMCG 1-43-7, CGCG 53-18, ARAK 508, NPM1G +04.0508
NGC 624016 52 58.8+02 24 11E?13.812.92.1 × 1vF, pL, lE, difIC 4625, UGC 10592, MCG 0-43-4, IRAS 16504+0228, CGCG 25-11, PRC D-28, VV 617
NGC 6280 117 01 57.5+06 39 59S015.614.60.5 × 0.3pB, S, lEMCG 1-43-8, CGCG 53-26, ARAK 512
NGC 6280 217 01 58.1+06 40 03C16.015.00.2 × 0.2pB, S, lEMCG 1-43-8, CGCG 53-26, ARAK 512
NGC 629617 08 44.6+03 53 40SBbc14.213.40.9 × 0.7pBUGC 10719, MCG 1-44-2, CGCG 54-3, IRAS 17062+0357
NGC 636817 27 11.4+11 32 35Sb13.112.33.5 × 0.6F, S, EUGC 10856, MCG 2-44-4, CGCG 82-32, IRAS 17248+1135
NGC 637817 30 41.8+06 16 53Sbc14.313.51.3 × 0.9v difficultUGC 10884, MCG 1-44-9, CGCG 55-1
NGC 638417 32 24.2+07 03 39SBbc11.110.46.2 × 4.1pB, S, vlEUGC 10891, MCG 1-45-1, CGCG 55-7, IRAS 17299+0705
NGC 650917 59 25.3+06 17 14SBcd13.212.51.6 × 1.2vF, pL, irrR, lbMUGC 11075, MCG 1-46-2, CGCG 56-6, IRAS 17569+0617
NGC 657018 11 07.3+14 05 34SBm13.312.71.9 × 1.1pF, pL, RUGC 11137, MCG 2-46-8, CGCG 84-22, VV 537, IRAS 18088+1404
NGC 661518 18 33.4+13 15 55SB0-a14.013.11.3 × 0.9vF, vSUGC 11196, MCG 2-46-13, CGCG 84-34
IC 124217 08 42.9+04 02 59Sb14.613.80.9 × 0.6vS, R, vlbMUGC 10718, MCG 1-44-1, CGCG 54-2, IRAS 17062+0406
IC 125517 23 05.4+12 41 46Sc14.113.41 × 0.5vF, pS, R, forms trap with 3 stUGC 10826, MCG 2-44-3, CGCG 82-23, IRAS 17207+1244
IC 462716 54 08.6-07 38 09P15.514.70.8 × 0.3eF, eS, dif, * 12 s 12"IRAS 16514-0733
IC 467618 02 53.0+11 49 23S15.614.80.3 × 0.3eF, vSCGCG 84-13
IC 468818 08 11.9+11 42 43Scd13.813.11.5 × 1.1vF, pS, dif, * 12 close fUGC 11125, MCG 2-46-6, CGCG 84-18
IC 469118 08 45.6+11 49 44S15.514.70.8 × 0.6F, S, iF, 1 or 2 F st invCGCG 84-19

References

7«Der grosse Kosmos-Himmelsführer» von Ian Ridpath und Wil Tirion; Kosmos Verlag; ISBN 3-440-05787-9
9«Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
15«Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
20«Sternbilder und ihre Mythen» von Gerhard Fasching; Zweite, verbesserte Auflage; Springer Verlag Wien, New York; ISBN 3-211-82552-5 (Wien); ISBN 0-387-82552-5 (New York)
102The Man with the Snake by George Lovi; S&T 6/93, p.63
139Der Hippokratische Eid, deutsche Übersetzung und medizinhistorischer Kommentar, Prof. Dr. med Axel W. Bauer; uni-heidelberg.de/institute/fak5/igm/g47/bauerhip.htm
150IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020; iau.org/public/themes/constellations
154Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020; tdc-www.harvard.edu/catalogs/bsc5.html
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; klima-luft.de/steinicke (2021-02-17)