OPHIUCHUS AND SERPENS
Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer,
sprawls his way across the center of the picture (north up and to the right), his
brightest star, Rasalhague (Alpha), at top center. (The reddish glow is
coming from reflection by light clouds.) Just down and to the
right of Rasalhague is Rasalgethi in Hercules, a bit down and to the
left Cebalrai (Beta), and down and to left of Cebalrai is Muliphen
(Gamma). Ophiuchus is
a distorted pentagon-shaped figure, its bottom starting with
two stars close together toward lower center
(Yed Prior, at right, and Yed Posterior) and running to the left
through Zeta Ophiuchi and ending in bright Sabik.
Marfik, Lambda Oph, is up and just to the right of Yed Prior.
Theta Oph (seen in the context of the Milky Way west of
is the brightest of the string of four stars near the
lower left corner; Xi is about mid-way between it and Sabik.
Rho Oph, the brighter of the two stars
near the left lower edge, is better seen in
the context of Scorpius whose bright star
Antares is near the bottom left. 67 and 70 Oph are in v-shaped
"Poniatowski's Bull" up and to the left of Cebalrai
(as is invisible Barnard's Star). Kappa Oph is the brighter of the pair down and to the
left of Rasalhague, while Chi is the middle star of the near-vertical trio below Zeta.
Mu Oph, to the left of center, is the second star directly above Sabik,
while Nu Oph is up and to the left of Mu.
Coming off the bottom and swinging up to both the right and left are two
streams of stars that make the divided figure of Serpens, the Serpent.
The stream to the left is Serpens Cauda, the Serpent's Tail, that to the
right Serpens Caput, the Serpent's Head. Unukalhai, the brightest star
in Serpens Caput, is the bright star toward the lower right. Delta
Ser is to the right and just up from it, while Beta Ser and Gamma Ser
are progressively upward from Delta. Epsilon Ser is immediately to
the left of Unukalhai, while Lambda is just above it. Kappa Ser lies in the middle of
the Serpent's head immediately to the right of Gamma Ser.
In Serpens Cauda, Xi Ser is up and to the left of Sabik. Far above it,
towards the top, is Eta Ser.
Serpens Cauda continues upward off the picture
and ends in Alya (Theta Ser), near Aquila.
As noted above, the Milky Way in Scutum and
Sagittarius runs downward at left; the red glow is the diffuse nebula
Messier 8. Antares in Scorpius is at
the lower left. Southern Hercules
is at the upper right, the curve of Corona Borealis below.
The bright golobular clusters Messier 10 and Messier
12 lie within the pentagon and are identified in the labelled image.
The curved smudge up and to the left of center is an image flaw.