Ophiuchus
Overview
 
Ophiuchus is a large constellation
Constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

 located around the celestial equator
Celestial equator
The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as the Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space...

. Its name is from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

  "serpent
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

-bearer", and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens
Serpens
Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union....

. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It was formerly referred to as Serpentarius (ˌsɜrpənˈtɛəriəs; also Anguitenens), a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word meaning the same as its current name.
Ophiuchus is located between Aquila
Aquila (constellation)
Aquila is a stellar constellation. Its name is Latin for 'eagle' and it is commonly represented as such. In mythology, Aquila was owned by the Roman god Jupiter and performed many tasks for him....

, Serpens
Serpens
Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union....

 and Hercules
Hercules (constellation)
Hercules is a constellation named after Hercules, the Roman mythological hero adapted from the Greek hero Heracles. Hercules was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today...

, northwest of the center of the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

.
Encyclopedia
Ophiuchus is a large constellation
Constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

 located around the celestial equator
Celestial equator
The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as the Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space...

. Its name is from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

  "serpent
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

-bearer", and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens
Serpens
Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union....

. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It was formerly referred to as Serpentarius (ˌsɜrpənˈtɛəriəs; also Anguitenens), a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word meaning the same as its current name.

Location

Ophiuchus is located between Aquila
Aquila (constellation)
Aquila is a stellar constellation. Its name is Latin for 'eagle' and it is commonly represented as such. In mythology, Aquila was owned by the Roman god Jupiter and performed many tasks for him....

, Serpens
Serpens
Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union....

 and Hercules
Hercules (constellation)
Hercules is a constellation named after Hercules, the Roman mythological hero adapted from the Greek hero Heracles. Hercules was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today...

, northwest of the center of the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

. The southern part lies between Scorpius
Scorpius
Scorpius, sometimes known as Scorpio, is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for scorpion, and its symbol is . It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east...

 to the west and Sagittarius
Sagittarius (constellation)
Sagittarius is a constellation of the zodiac, the one containing the galactic center. Its name is Latin for the archer, and its symbol is , a stylized arrow. Sagittarius is commonly represented as a centaur drawing a bow...

 to the east. In the northern hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

, it is best visible in summer. It is located opposite Orion
Orion (constellation)
Orion, often referred to as The Hunter, is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous, and most recognizable constellations in the night sky...

 in the sky. Ophiuchus is depicted as a man grasping a serpent
Serpens
Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union....

; the interposition of his body divides the snake constellation Serpens into two parts, Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda, which are nonetheless counted as one constellation.

Notable features

Stars

The brightest stars in Ophiuchus include α Ophiuchi
Alpha Ophiuchi
Alpha Ophiuchi is the brightest star in the constellation Ophiuchus. It has the traditional name Ras Alhague, often condensed to Rasalhague....

, called Rasalhague (at the figure's head), and η Ophiuchi
Eta Ophiuchi
Eta Ophiuchi, also known as η Oph or η Ophiuchi, is a star in the constellation Ophiuchus. It also has the traditional name Sabik....

.

RS Ophiuchi is part of a class called recurrent nova
Nova
A nova is a cataclysmic nuclear explosion in a star caused by the accretion of hydrogen on to the surface of a white dwarf star, which ignites and starts nuclear fusion in a runaway manner...

e, whose brightness increase at irregular intervals by hundreds of times in a period of just a few days. It is thought to be at the brink of becoming a type-1a supernova
Supernova
A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced with the plural supernovae or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months...

.

Barnard's Star
Barnard's star
Barnard's Star, also known occasionally as Barnard's "Runaway" Star, is a very low-mass red dwarf star approximately six light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus . In 1916, the American astronomer E.E...

, one of the nearest stars to the Solar System
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

 (the only stars closer are the Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus...

 binary star
Binary star
A binary star is a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass. The brighter star is called the primary and the other is its companion star, comes, or secondary...

 system and Proxima Centauri
Proxima Centauri
Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star about 4.2 light-years distant in the constellation of Centaurus. It was discovered in 1915 by Robert Innes, the Director of the Union Observatory in South Africa, and is the nearest known star to the Sun, although it is too faint to be seen with the naked eye...

), lies in Ophiuchus. It is located to the left of β and just north of the V-shaped group of stars in an area that was once occupied by the now-obsolete constellation of Taurus Poniatovii
Taurus Poniatovii
Taurus Poniatovii was a constellation created by Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt in 1777 to honor Stanislaus Poniatowski, king of Poland. It consisted of stars that are today considered part of Ophiuchus and Aquila...

 (Poniatowski's Bull).

In 2005, astronomers using data from the Green Bank Telescope
Green Bank Telescope
The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope and the world's largest land-based movable structure. It is part of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory site at Green Bank, West Virginia, USA. The telescope honors the name of the late Senator...

 discovered a superbubble
Superbubble
Superbubble is the astronomical term used to describe a cavity hundreds of light years across filled with 106 K gas blown into the interstellar medium by multiple supernovae and stellar winds...

 so large that it extends beyond the plane of the galaxy. It is called the Ophiuchus Superbubble.

In April 2007, astronomers
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 announced that the Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

-built Odin satellite
Odin (satellite)
Odin is a Swedish satellite working in two disciplines; astrophysics and aeronomy, and it was named after god Odin. Within the field of astrophysics, Odin is used in the study of star formation...

 had made the first detection of clouds of molecular
Molecule
A molecule is an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their electrical charge...

 oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 in space, following observations in the constellation Ophiuchus.

The supernova of 1604
SN 1604
Supernova 1604, also known as Kepler's Supernova, Kepler's Nova or Kepler's Star, was a supernova that occurred in the Milky Way, in the constellation Ophiuchus. , it is the last supernova to have been unquestionably observed in our own galaxy, occurring no farther than 6 kiloparsecs or about...

 was first observed on October 9, 1604, near θ Ophiuchi. Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

 saw it first on October 16 and studied it so extensively that the supernova
Supernova
A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced with the plural supernovae or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months...

 was subsequently called Kepler's Supernova. He published his findings in a book titled De stella nova in pede Serpentarii (On the New Star in Ophiuchus' Foot). Galileo
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

 used its brief appearance to counter the Aristotelian
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

 that the heavens are changeless.

In approximately 40,000 years Voyager 1
Voyager 1
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA in 1977, to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. Operating for as of today , the spacecraft receives routine commands and transmits data back to the Deep Space Network. At a distance of as of...

probe will pass within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888
AC+79 3888
AC+79 3888 is an M-type main sequence star in the constellation of Camelopardalis, close to Polaris. It has no name other than its catalog designations. AC+79 3888 is currently 17.6 light-years from the Sun and has an apparent magnitude of 10.8...

, which is located in Ophiuchus.

In 2009 it was announced that GJ 1214
GJ 1214
GJ 1214 is a dim M4.5 red dwarf in the constellation Ophiuchus with an apparent magnitude of 14.7. It is located at a distance of approximately 40 light years from Earth. It is about one-fifth as large as the Sun with a surface temperature estimated to be...

, a star in Ophiuchus, undergoes repeated, cyclical dimming with a period of about 1.5 days consistent with the transit of a small orbiting planet. The planet's low density (about 40% that of Earth) suggests that the planet may have a substantial component of low-density gas—possibly hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 or steam
Steam
Steam is the technical term for water vapor, the gaseous phase of water, which is formed when water boils. In common language it is often used to refer to the visible mist of water droplets formed as this water vapor condenses in the presence of cooler air...

. The proximity of this star to Earth (42 light years) makes it a tempting target for further astronomic observations.

In April 2010, the naked-eye star ζ Ophiuchi
Zeta Ophiuchi
Zeta Ophiuchi is a star located in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It was a member of indigenous Arabic asterism al-Nasaq al-Yamānī, "the Southern Line" of al-Nasaqān "the Two Lines"., along with α Ser , δ Ser , ε Ser , δ Oph , ε Ser and γ Oph .According to the catalogue of stars...

 was occulted by 824 Anastasia
824 Anastasia
824 Anastasia is a main belt asteroid orbiting the Sun. It is approximately 34.14km in diameter. It was discovered on March 25, 1916 by Grigory Neujmin at Simeiz Observatory in Ukraine...

.

Deep-sky objects

Ophiuchus contains several star cluster
Star cluster
Star clusters or star clouds are groups of stars. Two types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters, more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally contain less than...

s, such as IC 4665, NGC 6633
NGC 6633
NGC 6633 is an open cluster that was, according to the Webb Society Deep-Sky Observer's Handbook, Volume 3 , p. 3, discovered in 1745-46 by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux...

, M9, M10, M12, M14, M19, M62, and M107, as well as the nebula
Nebula
A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and other ionized gases...

 IC 4603-4604. The unusual galaxy
Galaxy
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 merger remnant NGC 6240
NGC 6240
NGC 6240 is a well-studied nearby ultraluminous infrared galaxy in the constellation Ophiuchus. The galaxy is the remnant of a merger between two smaller galaxies...

 is also in Ophiuchus.
In 2006, a new nearby star cluster
Star cluster
Star clusters or star clouds are groups of stars. Two types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds of thousands of very old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters, more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally contain less than...

 was discovered associated with the 4th magnitude star Mu Ophiuchi. The Mamajek 2 cluster appears to be a poor cluster remnant analogous to the Ursa Major Moving Group
Ursa Major Moving Group
The Ursa Major Moving Group, also known as Collinder 285 or Ursa Major association, is a nearby stellar moving group, a set of stars with common velocities in space and thought to have a common origin. Its core is located roughly 80 light years away...

, but 7 times more distant (approximately 170 parsecs away). Mamajek 2 appears to have formed in the same star-forming complex as the NGC 2516
NGC 2516
NGC 2516 is an open cluster in the southern sky in the constellation Carina near Volans discovered by Abbe Lacaille in 1751-1752. From its catalog numbers it is called NGC 2516 or C 96; its popular name is The Diamond Cluster....

 cluster roughly 135 million years ago.

History

There is no evidence of the constellation preceding the classical era
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

, and in Babylonian astronomy, a "Sitting Gods" constellation seems to have been located in the general area of Ophiuchus. However, Gavin White proposes that Ophiuchus may in fact be remotely descended from this Babylonian constellation, representing Nirah
Nirah
Nirah can refer to several things:*The National institute for research into aquatic habitats - A planned fresh water aquarium in England, to be the world's largest aquarium upon completion....

, a serpent-god who was sometimes depicted with his upper half human but with serpents for legs.

The earliest mention of the constellation is in Aratus
Aratus
Aratus was a Greek didactic poet. He is best known today for being quoted in the New Testament. His major extant work is his hexameter poem Phaenomena , the first half of which is a verse setting of a lost work of the same name by Eudoxus of Cnidus. It describes the constellations and other...

, informed by the lost catalogue of Eudoxus of Cnidus
Eudoxus of Cnidus
Eudoxus of Cnidus was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, scholar and student of Plato. Since all his own works are lost, our knowledge of him is obtained from secondary sources, such as Aratus's poem on astronomy...

 (4th century BC):
To the Phantom's back the Crown
Corona
A corona is a type of plasma "atmosphere" of the Sun or other celestial body, extending millions of kilometers into space, most easily seen during a total solar eclipse, but also observable in a coronagraph...

 is near, but by his head mark near at hand the head of Ophiuchus, and then from it you can trace the starlit Ophiuchus himself: so brightly set beneath his head appear his gleaming shoulders. They would be clear to mark even at the midmonth moon, but his hands are not at all so bright; for faint runs the gleam of stars along on this side and on that. Yet they too can be seen, for they are not feeble. Both firmly clutch the Serpent
Serpens
Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union....

, which encircles the waist of Ophiuchus, but he, steadfast with both his feet well set, tramples a huge monster, even the Scorpio
Scorpio (astrology)
|Infobox align="right" style="border:3px solid white;"||style="text-align: center;"|Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the zodiac between the 210th and 239th degree of celestial longitude. Generally, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between 24 October and...

n, standing upright on his eye and breast. Now the Serpent is wreathed about his two hands – a little above his right hand, but in many folds high above his left.


According to Roman era mythography, the figure represents the healer Asclepius
Asclepius
Asclepius is the God of Medicine and Healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia , Iaso , Aceso , Aglæa/Ægle , and Panacea...

, who learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. To prevent the entire human race from becoming immortal
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

 under Asclepius' care, Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 killed him with a bolt of lightning
Lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

, but later placed his image in the heavens to honor his good works.

In medieval Islamic astronomy
Islamic astronomy
Islamic astronomy or Arabic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age , and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and...

 (Azophi's Uranometry
Book of Fixed Stars
The Book of Fixed Stars is an astronomical text written by Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi around 964. The book was written in Arabic, although the author himself was Persian...

, 10th century), the constellation was known as Al-Ḥawwaʾ "the snake-charmer".

Aratus
Aratus
Aratus was a Greek didactic poet. He is best known today for being quoted in the New Testament. His major extant work is his hexameter poem Phaenomena , the first half of which is a verse setting of a lost work of the same name by Eudoxus of Cnidus. It describes the constellations and other...

 describes Ophiuchus as trampling on Scorpio
Scorpio (astrology)
|Infobox align="right" style="border:3px solid white;"||style="text-align: center;"|Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the zodiac between the 210th and 239th degree of celestial longitude. Generally, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between 24 October and...

 with his feet. This is depicted in Renaissance to Early Modern star chart
Star chart
A star chart is a map of the night sky. Astronomers divide these into grids to use them more easily. They are used to identify and locate astronomical objects such as stars, constellations and galaxies. They have been used for human navigation since time immemorial...

s, beginning with Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

 in 1515; in some depictions (such as that of Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

, 1604), Scorpio also seems to threaten to sting Serpentarius in the foot.
This is consistent with Azophi, who already included ψ Oph and ω Oph as the snake-charmer's "left foot", and θ Oph
Theta Ophiuchi
Theta Ophiuchi is a Class B2, third-magnitude star in the constellation Ophiuchus.It lies on the "right foot" of the serpent-bearer, and is only a little to the southwest of the Kepler's Star, the nova of 1604....

 and ο Oph as his "right foot", making Ophiuchus a zodiacal constellation at least as regards his feet.
This arrangement has been taken as symbolic in later literature, and placed in relation to the words spoken by God to the serpent in the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

 (Genesis 3:15).

Ophiuchus and the zodiac

Ophiuchus is one of thirteen constellations that cross the ecliptic
Ecliptic
The ecliptic is the plane of the earth's orbit around the sun. In more accurate terms, it is the intersection of the celestial sphere with the ecliptic plane, which is the geometric plane containing the mean orbit of the Earth around the Sun...

. It has therefore been called the '13th sign of the zodiac'. However, this confuses sign
Astrological sign
Astrological signs represent twelve equal segments or divisions of the zodiac. According to astrology, celestial phenomena reflect or govern human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the twelve signs are held to represent twelve basic personality types or characteristic modes...

 with constellation
Constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

. The signs of the zodiac are a twelve-fold division of the ecliptic, so that each sign spans 30° of celestial longitude, approximately the distance the Sun travels in a month, and (in the Western tradition) are aligned with the seasons so that the March equinox falls on the boundary between Aries and Pisces. Constellations, on the other hand, are unequal in size and are based on the positions of the stars. The constellations of the zodiac have only a loose association with the signs of the zodiac, and do not in general coincide with them. In Western astrology the constellation of Aquarius, for example, largely corresponds to the sign of Pisces. Similarly, the constellation of Ophiuchus occupies most of the sign of Sagittarius.

External links

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