The Deep Photographic Guide to the

The constellation of the month


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Latin: Scorpius (Sco)
English: Scorpion Spanish: Escorpio
German: Skorpion French: Scorpion

The large constellation of Scorpius fills the photography (see lines). It lies below (south) of Ophiuchus and to the right (west) of Sagittarius. The photography was taken from the southern hemisphere (Namibia), where Scorpius can be high up in the night sky.

In mid of June Scorpius culminates at about 23:00 LT (11:00 pm). The declination of the constellation borders ranges from -46 to -8 degrees. Brightest star is Antares, seen at upper right, a red giant with a visual brightness of about 0.9 mag and spectral type M 0. Its name is greek and means the "Rival of Mars". The reason is the conspicious red color and the close position to the ecliptic, which sometimes make Mars and Antares appear close together, showing their similar color.

The galactic center lies in the shown field about three degrees to the upper left of the open star cluster M 6. It already belongs to the neighbor constellation of Sagittarius. Therefore a lot of galactic deep sky objects join the field of Scorpius. Somewhat above Antares lies the famous star nursery around Rho Ophiuchi with its prominent absorption, emission, and reflection nebulae.

© all photographs taken by Till Credner and Sven Kohle