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Aries (AIR-eez) is a large constellation witti only three medium-bright stars In its northern part. These three stars form a simple pattern that is easy to recognize, but—despite its fame as a member of the zodiac—the constellation Is not very interesting to observe. Aries is in the east in the autumn and high overhead in late December and January,

In Sumerian times, these stars were a "day laborer" who plowed a field to plant grain. It has been called a ram since at least the time of the ancient Greeks.

Four thousand years ago, the Earth was oriented so that the Sun was in Aries on the first day of spring, March 22, a day that then was considered the first day of the year. At that time, the Sun's position was called the "first point of Aries." The Sun is now in Pisces on the first day of spring, but Aries is still called the first constellation of the zodiac In memory of this ancient alignment. When any planet is "visiting" Aries, the planet is brighter than any of the constellation's stars.

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