, which means’serpent-bearer’ in English) In addition to the twelve signs of the tropical zodiac, () has been proposed as a thirteenth astrological sign in sidereal astrology. From November 29 to December 18, the constellation Ophiuchus, as defined by the International Astronomical Union’s constellation limits of 1930, is behind the sun.
What exactly is Ophiuchus?
Ophiuchus (/fijuks/), a big constellation crossing the celestial equator, is a vast constellation. Its name is derived from the Ancient Greek o (ophiokhos), which means “serpent-bearer,” and it is frequently shown as a man holding a snake.
What is the appearance of Ophiuchus?
Were you born between the 30th of November and the 18th of December?
On your birthday, the sun will most likely pass in front of the constellation Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer.
I’m almost expecting to hear someone say:
You’re entirely correct. That’s because Ophiuchus is a zodiac constellation, not a sign. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between astrological signs and astronomical constellations, when and where to look for Ophiuchus, the deep-sky gems it holds, its mythology, science, and more.
Signs versus constellations
On August and September evenings, the Serpent Bearer stands tall in the south to southwest sky from Northern Hemisphere latitudes. Ophiuchus is closer to above from the Southern Hemisphere. Antares, the brightest red star in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion, is also close by.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) drew up the official boundary lines for all 88 constellations in the 1930s. Rasalhague, Ophiuchus’ brightest star, and Antares, Scorpius’ brightest star, are labeled in the photo below of the constellation Ophiuchus. Rasalhague is a bright star that marks Ophiuchus’ head, although it pales in comparison to Antares, the star that depicts the Scorpion’s beating heart.
Ophiuchus is in a bad way. Despite the fact that the ecliptic passes through him, no one ever claims him as a birth sign. After all, the zodiac band stretches 8 degrees north and south of the ecliptic, with a total width of 16 degrees. The constellations aren’t evenly distributed along this area in our sky, either. Everyone who reads astrological advice online is familiar with the zodiac signs. There are 12 zodiac signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, and so forth. However, there is no Ophiuchus.
However, the moon and planets pass through Ophiuchus on a regular basis. Likewise, the sun. From roughly November 30 to December 18, the sun is in front of Ophiuchus.
Around November 21, or anytime the sun is exactly 30 degrees west of the December solstice point, the sun is said to enter the sign of Sagittarius. On the December 21 solstice, the sun enters the sign of Capricorn. So, regardless of the sun shining in front of the constellation Ophiuchus from November 30 to December 18, the sun passes through the sign Sagittarius for the month leading up to the December solstice.
The December solstice point, by the way, travels one degree westward in front of the zodiacal constellations or backdrop stars every 72 years or so. By the year 2269, the December solstice point will have finally moved into the constellation Ophiuchus.
When and where to locate Ophiuchus
Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is the ideal time to see Ophiuchus (Southern Hemisphere winter). Late July and early August in the Northern Hemisphere show this constellation high in the southern sky during twilight and early evening. On fall evenings in the Northern Hemisphere, it can be visible in the southwest sky.
This relatively large constellation lies to the north of Scorpius the Scorpion and to the south of Hercules the Hero in the sky. If you’re familiar with the brightest star in Scorpius, Antares, try star-hopping to Ophiuchus from this crimson beauty. The star Rasalhague appears on Ophiuchus’ skull (Alpha Ophiuchi).
In tradition and in the sky, Ophiuchus is associated with the Serpent constellation.
If you have a dark sky, you might notice that this is one constellation that looks exactly how it should: a large man holding a snake.
Ophiuchus is derived from two Greek words that signify serpent and holding.
Deep-sky objects in Ophiuchus
Take your binoculars and scan Ophiuchus, which lies in the Milky Way band and has numerous deep-sky wonders, on a night when the moon isn’t visible. For example, Ophiuchus has a lot of globular clusters. M10 and M12 are the two simplest globular clusters to see with conventional binoculars, as seen in the chart above. They seem as weak puffs of light via binoculars, but with a telescope, you can see these globular clusters for what they are. They’re massive stellar metropolis with hundreds of thousands of stars that span a hundred to a few hundred light-years in diameter.
The Pipe Nebula, a massive interstellar cloud of gas and dust spreading across nearly 7 degrees of sky, is another big deep-sky favorite. That’s about the width of three to four fingers at arm’s length. This dark nebula is located in southern Ophiuchus at a distance of 600 to 700 light-years and can be viewed with the naked eye in a dark, transparent sky. The Pipe Nebula is located to the east of Antares and to the north of Shaula and Lesath. The above chart shows these two stars (but not the Pipe Nebula).
Ophiuchus in myth and star lore
Ophiuchus represents Asclepius, the Greek deity of medicine and doctors, in Greek mythology. He is always shown with a large serpent or snake in his hand. A snake’s venom can either kill or cure, depending on how it’s utilized. Asclepius is claimed to have manufactured a healing elixir from Serpens the Serpent’s venom, Gorgon’s blood, and an unknown herb. Until the god of the underworld, Pluto, appealed to the king of the gods, this potion granted humanity immortality. Pluto urged Zeus to rethink the consequences of death’s death.
We have no idea how Pluto made his case. Maybe he just said that what never lives never dies, and that no mortal can have one without the other. Sophocles may have summed up the myth’s core theme when he said:
It is preferable to die and sleep the never-waking slumber than to live after the soul’s life has passed.
In his Four Quartets, poet T.S. Eliot may have mirrored the notion of the ever-living story:
In any case, according to legend, Zeus seized the elixir, exiled Asclepius from Earth, and enshrined the great physician in the celestial realms. The Staff of Asclepius, which represents the World Health Organization and other medical organizations, pays homage to this legend and reflects the powerful celestial shape of Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer.
Ophiuchus in history and science
A supernova explosion of a star within our own Milky Way galaxy hasn’t been seen in almost 400 years. However, in the year 1604, a supernova known as Kepler’s Supernova blasted into the scene, allowing for 18 months of naked-eye sight. It sparkled in the southern hemisphere of Ophiuchus, not far from the Pipe Nebula.
Tycho’s Supernova, which lighted up Cassiopeia in 1572, was followed by Kepler’s Supernova in 1604. The Aristotelian notion of an unchangeable world outside the orbit of the moon was shattered by these supernovae, which sent shock waves through Europe’s elite. Tycho Brahe measured the 1572 supernova’s parallax, proving that it was not an atmospheric phenomenon. In reality, the supernova flashed well beyond the orbit of the moon. Shortly after, in 1604, Kepler’s Supernova seemed to hammer home the point once more.
Furthermore, in 1577, Tycho Brahe estimated the distance of a comet and discovered that it was also farther away than the moon. Aristotelians wanted to believe comets were gases burning in the atmosphere, but Tycho disproved Aristotle’s unchanging universe theory once more.
Bottom line: For nearly two weeks each year, the sun passes through the constellation Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer, making Ophiuchus an unofficial member of the zodiac. Learn the difference between astrological signs and astronomy constellations, as well as how to find Ophiuchus.
Is Ophiuchus a Sagittarius constellation?
Ophiucus’ symbol is a man grasping a serpent, ready to ruin everyone’s horoscope. Here’s how to do it: Those born between November 29 and December 17 are those born under the so-called 13th zodiac sign. Scorpio is supposed to be the sign before it, and Sagittarius is supposed to be the sign following it. That means it would hypothetically shift the majority of people’s star signs to the one before it. (I know, I know, I’m clutching my pearls as I imagine myself as a feisty Aries after 30 years as a slow-moving Taurus.)
In terms of Ophiucus’ personality traits, it’s similar to that of someone born on the cusp of Sagittarius and Scorpio.
In terms of Ophiucus’ personality attributes, he shares the same cosmic mix as someone born on the cusp of Sagittarius and Scorpio. This person, like Sagittarius, has an easygoing personality, a curious and inquisitive mind, and a charming sense of humor. They may be sexually appealing, deeply passionate, and driven, just like Scorpio. They’d have some of each sign’s bad characteristics as well, such as jealousy and secrecy (Scorpio) and restlessness (Sag), as well as a fiery temper.
Is Ophiuchus an uncommon species?
Aries is the second rarest zodiac sign, followed by Sagittarius, both of which are fire signs, according to Stardust. “Aries is the first sign of the zodiac,” Stardust explains, noting that this sign is known for having a spark of creativity that “gets everyone up and moving.” The third rarest zodiac sign, Sagittarius, “falls during the autumn season and is renowned to be adventurous and free-spirited,” according to Stardust.
What hue is Ophiuchus?
Rasalhague, which means “Head of the Snake Charmer” in Arabic, is another name for the star. The knees of Ophiuchus are marked by two stars: Eta Ophiuchi and Zeta Ophiuchi, a hot blue giant with a reddish tint due to interstellar dust.
Ophiuchus, who shall he marry?
I’m not directly touched by the rekindled dispute regarding Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign, because I’m a proud (and predictably stubborn) Taurus. The sign, which lies between Scorpio and Sagittarius and encompasses those born between November 29 and December 17, is not universally accepted as a part of the official zodiac. However, learning about the sign’s history and the psychological attributes of Ophiuchus is fascinating. Most importantly, if you use astrology for love (and who doesn’t? ), you might be even more interested in how the Ophiuchus sign behaves in relationships and which signs are most and least compatible with them.
For those of you who were as perplexed as I was, Ophiuchus (pronounced Of-ee-You-Cus) means “serpent carrier” and represents a human being entwined with a snake ideal for all you Slytherins out there. Their personality is complex, and their ideal spouse is someone who can complement them and deal with some of their less desirable characteristics.
The most important aspect of a successful relationship with Ophiuchus, according to Wong, is respecting their need to be free and unbound, as well as their want to be appreciated. An Ophiuchus is best suited to someone who is intelligent but content in a “supporting role.” “The perfect spouse shouldn’t require as much praise and should have inner confidence to complement what an Ophiuchus can offer,” she says. “Like the crew of a movie that shines a light on the star, the perfect partner needs to be a solid backbone for the partnership.”
If you’re wondering if you and an Ophiuchus are a good match, these are the five most compatible signs for the serpent bearer.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Because they’re both creative daydreamers, the Neptune-ruled Pisces is the ideal match for Ophiuchus. Pisces is a sign that puts their heart and soul into their relationships and loves to play a more supportive role, which is a good match for Ophiuchus’ romantic requirements. These are two signs, according to Wong, who can easily express their emotions and feelings. “More than that, both signs are easygoing when it comes to adapting to new situations,” she adds, “so they’d be fantastic together in times of change.”
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
Capricorn, a realistic, goal-oriented, and ambitious sign, would get along swimmingly with Ophiuchus. They’re both intellectually ambitious, hardworking, and competitive in their professional and personal lives, according to Wong. When one of you needs to put in extra time at work, both partners will be understanding and supportive, because they understand that some things are required in order to reach your goals. Capricorn has no objections to Ophiuchus spending time for themselves, but will gladly listen to their complaints if they need someone to listen. Capricorn will be a grounding influence for Ophiuchus if they are in one of their moods. These two appear to be a well-balanced power pair.
Ophiuchus (November 29 to December 17)
When it comes to love, not every zodiac sign can effectively date another zodiac sign. After all, your worst characteristics will almost certainly be reflected back to you. Wong, on the other hand, believes that a couple with two Ophiuchus signs would have a lot of fun together. “Because an Ophiuchus is always looking for pleasure, it seems logical that they are particularly compatible with their type, especially when traveling,” she explains.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Cancer is no exception for Ophiuchus, who seems to perform well with sensitive Water signs. Cancer and Ophiuchus, according to Wong, are a wonderful match because both are devoted and possessive signs. “The latter trait can verge on jealousy at times,” Wong explains. “It does, however, prepare the way for physical and emotional fulfillment, both of which are essential components of a healthy partnership.” Cancer, like Pisces, is content to perform the supporting role, which Ophiuchus values much in a mate. Overall, Cancer and Ophiuchus are a solid match because Cancer will make Ophiuchus feel at ease, while Ophiuchus will make Cancer feel needed.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
“Libras – a gentle combination of Capricorn and Pisces are intellectuals, creative thinkers, and art enthusiasts, therefore Ophiuchus and Libras complement each other well,” Wong explains. They’ll hit it off immediately away and have enthralling discussions that will last for hours. Ophiuchus and Libra both have a “a desire to go to new locations and explore the unknown.” Another relationship-oriented sign, Libra, is obsessed with keeping their spouse happy. Libra will provide space for Ophiuchus if they require it. Libra is more than happy to reassure them and shower them with attention if they need it. These two signals are likely to begin as friends before moving on to a more romantic level.
What is the correct pronunciation of Ophiuchus?
Ophiuchus is pronounced oh-fee-YOU-kuss in the proper way. The third syllable, -YOU, should be stressed when pronouncing Ophiuchus correctly. Another thing to keep in mind is that “Phi” is pronounced similarly to the word “fee.”
What’s the difference between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus?
It all started with a story that had been resurfaced. Ophiuchus, or the serpent-bearer, is the 13th zodiac sign found by NASA. Anyone born between November 29 and December 17 is an Ophiuchus, not a Scorpio or a Sagittarius. Scorpio’s window would be reduced to just seven days, and the entire astrology chart would alter, resulting in different star signs for some Pisces, Leos, and Libras. As astrology fans on the internet began to panic, NASA stepped in to gently correct the record.
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