The Archer is a prominent \ and ancient constellation that\ has many bright stars. You can \ see Sagittarius (sa-juh-TAIR-ee-us)^ in summer and early fall evenings, when it is low In the south.
A constellation of the zodiac, Sagittarius is a centaur. However, some people see Sagittarius as a teapot. When Sagittarius is in the southwest, the pot is tipped and pouring tea on the tail of Scorpius.
Many ancient imaginary creatures are made of two or more animals combined into one. One of the strangest was a centaur, half-man and half-horse. A centaur was the ultimate hunter-warrior, combining the skill of men with the speed of horses. Generally armed and dangerous, centaurs were a wild bunch that were best avoided. Sagittarius carries a bow and arrow, and he's called the Archer. An unarmed centaur named Centaurus is also in the sky.
Gemini the Twins
The winter sky is full of bright stars. Two that are equal in brightness and close together have been known as the "twin stars" for thousands of years. They are the heads of Gemini (JEM-uh-neye), twin brothers Castor (KASS-tor) and Pollux (POL-uks) in Greek mythology. Gemini is a constellation of the zodiac.
Gemini is overhead in winter and early spring. In the middle of May. the Twins stand upright on the northwest horizon around 8:00 p.m.
Gemini looks like two boys standing or lying side by side. It is two strings of stars stretching westward from the bright stars Castor and Pollux. To remember which is which. Castor Is nearest to Capella, the brightest star in Auriga, and Pollux is next to Procyon, the brightest star in Canls Minor.
In Greek mythology, these heroic twins were best known for their travels with Jason. Castor was an expert horseman, his twin, Pollux, an expert boxer, and together they had lots of fun battling bad guys. Because they rose before the Sun as winter storms ended and as the sailing season resumed, they were popular with Greek sailors, who also looked to them for protection from pirates.
Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer O-O
This outline of a mon occupies a large area of the summer sky north\ of Scorplus. Ophiuchus (OH-fee-YOO-kuss) is holding a snake, or \ serpent, which is the constellation Serpens, in his bare hands. The \ serpent's head is to the right of Ophiuchus. his tall to the left, and his \ body seems to cross in front of Ophiuchus. One constellation cannot be Q j In front of another, so Ophiuchus divides the snake into two parts— A the head and the tail. No constellations are more closely connected than the snake handler and his serpent.
Ophiuchus is high in the south In early evening through July and August. With a bit of imagination, it is not hard to see the outline of a giant man, even though he has no especially bright stars.
According to modern constellation boundaries, the Sun passes through the southern edge of Ophiuchus, making it a constellation of the zodiac. Ophiuchus is not part of the traditional astrological zodiac of 12 equally spaced signs, but it is the 13th constellation of the astronomical zodiac.
Ophiuchus is a doctor. The Greeks knew him by the name of Aesculapius, and he was a super-physician who possessed the ultimate medical skill—reviving the dead.
This alarmed Pluto, god of the underworld, who was afraid he'd received no new visitors. N.
Pluto protested to the god Zeus, who \
banished Aesculapius to the sky.
When physicians take the Hippocrcrtic oath today, they begin by swearing to
Aesculapius, or Ophiuchus, to do their duty
Now test your knowledge of the zodiacl Fill in the blanks with the name of the constellation that matches the description. The first one has been done for you. Then, design a symbol for the last zodiac puzzler In the space below.
Look at the pictures ot constellations below. Draw a line from each constellation to the picture on the next page that you think it represents.
Alpha Centauri is the star system spaceship, you could reach the nearest to our solar system. Alpha Moon in two and one-half hours. It
Centauri is much farther away than would take you almost five years to the farthest planet in our solar system, reach Pluto. To reach Alpha Centauri
How far is far? Let's pretend that you would take about 30 thousand years!
had a spaceship that could travel 100 You can see that there is a lot of thousand miles an hour. With that space between the stars.
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