Northern Hemisphere

Pisces Piscium (Psc)

width 111 depth imm size RANKING 14» fuLLY vislBLE 83°n-56°s

Pisces is a constellation of the zodiac, but not a particularly prominent one. Its main claim to fame is that it contains the point where the Sun crosses the celestial equator into the northern hemisphere THE flSH each year. This point, known as the March equinox or the vernal equinox, is where the 0 hours line of right ascension intersects 0° declination (the celestial equator) Because of the slow wobble of Earth known as precession, this point is gradually moving along the celestial equator and will enter neighboring Aquarius in about AD 2600. In Greek myth, Pisces represents Aphrodite and her son Eros, who transformed themselves into fish and plunged into the Euphrates to escape a monster called Typhon.

width 111 depth imm size RANKING 14» fuLLY vislBLE 83°n-56°s

the circlet 2 K The ring of seven stars that describes the body of one of the fish.

alpha (a) pisCIUM (ALREsCHA) 5 A close pair of stars of 4th and 5th magnitudes that can be divided with an aperture of 4 in (100 mm) or more. They form a true binary with a period of over 900 years.

zETA (Z) piscium 5 A wide double consisting of stars of 5th and 6th magnitudes, divisible with small telescopes.

psi-1 (91) pisCiUM 5 Another double of 5th and 6th magnitudes, divisible with small telescopes.

M74 5 S A beautiful face-on spiral galaxy. Small telescopes show it as a rounded glow with a bright center. The spiral arms show up well only in larger apertures and long-exposure photographs.

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