Pisces is the 14th largest constellation, with 889 square degrees. One of the 15 equatorial constellations, it is visible from Earth. It can be viewed at latitudes ranging from +90 to -65 in the northern hemisphere’s first quadrant (NQ1). Andromeda, Aquarius, Aries, Cetus, Pegasus, and Triangulum are nearby constellations.
Along with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, and Aquarius, Pisces is part of the zodiac constellation family.
The spiral galaxy Messier 74 (M74, NGC 628) is the only Messier object in Pisces, and it has ten stars with known planets. Eta Piscium is the brightest star in the constellation, with an apparent magnitude of 3.62. The Piscids are a meteor shower connected with the constellation.
There are nine named stars in Pisces. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has authorized the star names Alpherg, Alrescha, Blnos, Citadelle, Ebla, Fumalsamakah, Parumleo, Revati, and Torcular.
In This Article...
What are the 18 primary Pisces stars?
- In his 2nd century Almagest, the Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy included Pisces among the first 48 constellations he catalogued.
- Pisces is the 14th largest constellation in the sky, spanning 889 square degrees, and is one of the 88 modern constellations.
- The constellation Pisces is related with the fable of Aphrodite and her son Eros, who were either saved by two fishes or transformed into fishes to escape the demon Typhon.
- The spiral galaxy Messier 74 is the sole Messier item in the constellation Pisces.
- The Piscids are the only prominent meteor shower connected with Pisces.
- Alpherg, a G-type evolved massive star, is the brightest star in Pisces. The apparent magnitude of this star is +3.611.
- Alpherg has a companion star, a young star of magnitude 7.51, circling it.
- Apart from its brightest star, Van Maanen’s star, Alrescha, Fumalsamakah, Delta Piscium, Epsilon Piscium, Revati, Torcular, Omega Piscium, and Gamma Piscium are all fascinating stars in Pisces.
- Apart from the aforementioned Messier item, the colliding galaxies NGC 520, the spiral galaxy NGC 488, the CL 0024+1654 galaxy cluster, the radio galaxy 3C 31, the Pisces Dwarf Galaxy, or the CGCG 436-030 spiral galaxy are among the many deep-sky objects visible in Pisces.
- November is the greatest month to see stars and deep-sky objects in Pisces.
Pisces is derived from a combination of the Babylonian constellations Sinutu4 the big swallow in current western Pisces and Anunitum the Lady of the Heaven in current northern Pisces.
Pisces is typically associated with the Greek legend of Aphrodite and her son Eros, who either transformed into fishes to avoid the Titans’ monster Typhon or were saved by two fishes.
Venus and Cupid, the Roman equivalents of Aphrodite and Eros, are carried away from danger on the backs of two fishes in the Roman version of the narrative.
What is the sign of Pisces’ main star?
The brightest star in Pisces is Eta Piscium, also known as Alpherg or Kullat Nunu. It’s a brilliant massive star (G class) 294 light years away from Earth with a brightness 316 times that of the sun. Gamma Piscium, the constellation’s second brightest star, is a yellow giant around 130 light-years from Earth.
Alpha Piscium is the third brightest star in Pisces, and it is composed of two white dwarf stars that are very close together. It’s also known as Alrescha (“the rope”) since it illuminates the area where the two fish’s tails appear to be connected together.
Beta Piscium is also known as Fum al Samakah, Arabic for “mouth of the fish,” and is around 492 light-years away from Earth.
Van Maanen’s Star, named after Adrian van Maanen, a Dutch astronomer who discovered it in 1917, is also seen in Pisces. At only 14.1 light-years away, it is the 31st closest star system and the closest solitary white dwarf to the sun.
Pisces also has a Messier object, which are galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in the 18th century. Between the stars alpha Arietis and eta Piscium, Messier 74 is a spiral galaxy.
How many stars are there in each constellation?
Originally, constellations were defined haphazardly by the shapes created by their star patterns, but as the rate of celestial discoveries accelerated in the early twentieth century, astronomers believed that having an official set of constellation borders would be beneficial. One motivation was to assist in the naming of new variable stars, which brighten and fade rather than shining brightly all the time. Because such stars are called by the constellation in which they are found, knowing where one constellation finishes and the next begins is critical.
In Dlimitation scientifique des constellations, Eugne Delporte identified the 88 “modern” constellations on behalf of the IAU Commission 3 (Astronomical Notations). 1930 (Delporte)
Is Jesus a Pisces by birth?
There are twelve astrological ages, which correlate to the twelve zodiacal signs, that parallel key changes in the evolution of Earth’s inhabitants, particularly in culture, society, and politics. The precession of the equinoxes causes astronomical ages, and one whole phase of this precession is called a Great Year or Platonic Year, which lasts around 25,920 years.
The age of Pisces began around the year 1 and will finish around the year 2150. Many Christian icons for Christ include the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fishes, because the narrative of Christ’s birth falls on this date. Christ is regarded an archetype of the Piscean since he has many of the temperaments and personality qualities of a Piscean. Furthermore, the twelve apostles were known as “fishers of men,” early Christians were known as “little fishes,” and “Ikhthus,” the Greek word for fish, was used as a code term for Jesus. The beginning of the era, or the “Great Month of Pisces,” is considered the start of the Christian religion. The apostle of the Piscean sign is known as Saint Peter.
What is the name of the God of Pisces?
Pisces is the ruling constellation between February 19th and March 20th. We’ve already noted that Pisces, the zodiac sign that follows Aquarius, is a sign that is full of emotions, both good and terrible. We also informed you that Pisces are excellent buddies. The origins of Pisces, like the other 11 zodiac signs, may be traced back to prehistoric times. Ptolemy gave this star sign the name Pisces, which means fish in Latin. He lived around 1900 years ago and was the best astronomer in the Greco-Roman world. The names of the zodiac signs were not chosen at random by Ptolemy; they all have a legendary origin. The myth surrounding Pisces will be discussed in this post.
A monster on a killing spree
The story of Pisces begins with the Greek god Typhon. This god was the worst of the worst. The gods usually have imperfections, but they’re nice at heart. Typhon, not so. This god is dangerous and deadly in every way. He was referred to as a colossus. His upper body was human-like, while his legs were snake-like. His head was also a jumble of snake heads that had grown into flaming hair and screamed ceaselessly. And to top it off, this monster had wings! As a result, Typhon became a formidable foe to the gods.
Typhon was viewed as an outcast by the gods, who clearly did not like him. Typhon had had enough of it and resolved to climb Mount Olympus one awful day. All of the Greek gods and goddesses lived on this mountain. Typhon is enraged, and he has threatened all of the gods on that mountain. They are all well aware of Typhon’s abilities, so each god makes a hasty retreat. To avoid him, most of the gods transform into animals in order to achieve speed and agility. The gods of love, Aphrodite and Eros, are the only ones who do not change shape. Typhon is closing in on the two lovers, who are in serious danger. Two fish emerge at the last time and let Aphrodite and Eros jump on their backs. The two are able to avoid being captured by the monster Typhon in this manner. The two fish were placed in the heavens by the Greek gods as a way of celebrating this great gesture, and they became the constellation Pisces.
Different variations of the Pisces story
According to tradition, Aphrodite and Eros transformed themselves into fish and escaped this way. It appears improbable that this is the case because other gods changed into animals but did not have constellations named after them.
The myth we know today may have originated with Ptolemy, but Pisces’ origins are pre-Greco-Roman. The fish were known as Ichthyes in Syrian mythology. They assisted in the rescue of Ashtarte, the Syrian counterpart of Aphrodite, by transporting her down the Euphrates River. Overall, the story is similar, and the fish deserved to shine forever among the stars in the night sky.
Why are there two fish in Pisces?
The water sign Pisces is the zodiac’s final constellation. Two fish swimming in opposite directions are used to depict Pisces’ continual divide of attention between fantasy and reality. As the last sign, Pisces has absorbed all of the lessons gained by the other signs, including the pleasures and sorrows, hopes and anxieties. This makes these fish the astrological wheel’s most intuitive, empathic, and caring creatures. Pisces can easily be devoured by emotions because to their high sensitivity, therefore they must remember to stay grounded in the material realm (appropriately, Pisces rules the feet).
Are Pisces similar to sirens?
Pisces is the sign of illusions, darting in and out of the shadows, and is ruled by the charming and elusive Fish. Is it real…or just a trick of the light? Pisces excels in celestial sleight of hand. Pisces energy, like a siren, entices you into its depths, but it may also leave you drowning in your emotions. Pisces is compassionate and sensitive, absorbing and reflecting the feelings of everyone it comes into contact with. This is the zodiac’s “old soul”: As the last sign, Pisces is considered to have absorbed the energy of all the other signs. Pisces energy is soulfully deep and never just skims the surface. In truth, the subconscious is ruled by this sign, which governs our dreams, fancies, and unhealed scars. Pisces energy is romantic, helpful, knowledgeable, consoling, and artistic in nature. Negative Pisces energy can be naive, self-pitying, delusional, addicted, self-destructive, clinging, and masochistic. We must set boundaries and avoid playing the martyr, codependence, and rescuing damaged folks during a Pisces planetary transit.
What constellation does Pisces belong to?
Because the sun appears in front of Pisces the Fishes during the March equinox, it is frequently referred to as the first zodiac constellation. The time between successive March equinoxes is commonly considered one tropical year. In this view, the March equinox signals the start of a new year. That’s why Pisces, which stands in front of the sun on the March equinox, is commonly regarded as the zodiac’s beginning point.
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When can I see the constellation Pisces?
The sun passes in front of the constellation Pisces every year from roughly March 12 to April 19. From April 19 to May 14, the sun will pass in front of the constellation Aries.
Of course, spotting Pisces in March and April is difficult because the constellation is obscured by the sun’s brightness. Instead, observing Pisces in the evening sky during a Northern Hemisphere fall (or Southern Hemisphere spring) say, November is a good idea.
Pisces reaches its nighttime peak at around 10 p.m. local standard time in early November and around 8 p.m. in early December, as observed from around the world.
To observe this pretty dim constellation swimming in what the early stargazers regarded to be a watery section of the lore-laden heavens, you’ll need a dark country sky. Pisces is located to the northeast of the Water Bearer constellation Aquarius and to the northwest of the Sea-monster constellation Cetus.
Fortunately, the signpost known as the Great Square of Pegasus, as seen on the sky chart below, can be used to quickly locate Pisces. To the south of the Square of Pegasus, look for the Circlet of Pisces, also known as the Western Fish’s Head. After you’ve caught the Western Fish, move on to the Eastern Fish, which is leaping upward to the east of the Pegasus Square. The entire constellation resembles the letter V, a very beautiful and lovely V. Al Risha is the constellation’s Alpha star (but not the brightest). By the way, the Eastern Fish looks to be sinking downward when viewed from the northern tropics or the Southern Hemisphere.
Pisces’ lone Messier object
Within Pisces’ limits, there can only be one Messier object a fuzzy object that looks like a comet but is actually a star cluster, nebula, or galaxy. Messier 74 is a face-on spiral galaxy believed to be 35 million light-years away. This Messier object in the constellation Pisces is frequently overlooked during the month of March, when it is technically feasible but difficult to see all of the Messier objects in one night.
Messier 74 is notoriously difficult to catch during the yearly Messier Marathons in March and/or April for two reasons. Messier 74 appears low in the western sky at sunset at that time of year, and then swiftly fades out of view. Furthermore, because this distant galaxy has a very low surface brightness, good seeing conditions are essential for capturing Messier 74. A huge telescope isn’t required as much as a dark, transparent sky.
However, the months around November are ideal for spotting Messier 74, a faint galaxy. On a dark, clear moonless night, try it with your eyes closed.
Pisces in mythology and star lore
The Greek and Roman versions of Pisces’ sky lore appeared to have originated in Syria, where fish were considered sacred. It’s unclear if the ancient Syrians abstained from eating fish completely or only ate fish from the Chalos River (presently called the Queiq or Aleppo River).
Atagartis, the Syrian goddess of love and fertility, is frequently depicted as half lady, half fish.
She is supposed to be the mother of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess, and Venus, the Roman goddess.
According to Greek legend, Aphrodite (the Roman Venus) and her son Eros (the Roman Cupid) were going to be devoured by the fire-breathing monster Typhon, so they transformed into fish and plunged into the Euphrates River to make a great escape. To keep from getting separated in the raging waters, mother and son bound themselves together with a cord.
How long is the Age of Pisces?
We’ll continue to live in the Age of Pisces as long as the sun shines in front of this constellation on the March equinox, according to some definitions. Despite the fact that the sun hasn’t appeared in front of the constellation Aries on the equinox in over 2,000 years, the March equinox point is still known as the First Point in Aries.
If we adopt the International Astronomical Union’s constellation borders, the Age of Pisces began in 68 B.C. and the Age of Aquarius will begin in 2597.
However, there are many other points of view on this, some of which are discussed in this post:
When does the Aquarius Age begin?
What color represents Pisces?
Pisces (19 February 20 March) Seafoam green or blue are powerful colors. Pisces, the fish, thrives when surrounded by marine colors, which helps them re-energize.