continued from Starlit Sky 22.


Next constellation that we will look at is the Aquarius. It is a part of the 12 zodiac constellations. Aquarius is called the Kumbha Raasi in the Indian Astronomical System. Kumbha means a pot. All the stars of this constellation put together seems like water being poured out of a big pot. Hence the name. The Greeks saw it as a water carrier with a pot of water.

This constellation is a easier to spot with binoculars than with naked eye because the stars are of lesser magnitude.

Now to locate this constellation. Remember Altair from the Summer Triangle? Using that find the constellation Capricornus. Now move in a northeasternly direction. You will reach a constellation of about 15 stars with mostly faint stars, that is the Aquarius.

The star in the position of λ is called the Shatabhisha star in the Indian Astronomical system. It is one of the 27 stars of this system. It is quite faint with about 3.8 magnitude. It can be seen well with a binoculars. 

In fact, almost all the stars in this constellation are of 3 or less magnitude. 

 One of the claims to fame of this constellation is the fact that Neptune was discovered in 1846 when it was in this constellation.

Look to the south of Aquarius. Somewhere in between Capricorn and Aquarius you will see a bright star with a magnitude of 1.1. This is the star Fomelhaut. It is a part of the constellation Piscis Austrinus, otherwise called Southern Fish. It is not the same as the zodiac constellation of Pisces.

This constellation is a part of the southern hemisphere.

The water from the ewer of the Aquarius seems to be flowing in a southern direction and the fish below is drinking it up!


to be continued………………