- March 5, 2012
There is no doubt that sky is a fascinating subject forever for human beings due to its mystery, secrets and beauty. Despite so much of findings, we do not have enough information about space till date and for that reason, it continues to stay mysterious for us. Stars have continually played a major in beautifying the sky and groups of these stars that represent images or pictures are called constellations. Aquarius constellation is one of the members of constellations family and is one of the oldest constellations in the sky.
Aquarius is one of the finest constellations to view in the sky but you need a powerful telescope for viewing it. One thing that you can do is when you view any constellation is to look for the brightest star in the constellation, as it is Beta Aquarii in case of Aquarius constellation. Most renowned stars in this constellation are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Zeta and R Aquarii. One noteworthy fact about Alpha Aquarii is its diameter which is 60 times that of the Sun and brightness 3000 times greater than the Sun. You will be surprised to know that the names of Alpha, Beta and Gamma Aquarii signify "The luck of the king", "The luck of lucks" and "The lucky star of hidden things" respectively. So, whenever you see this constellation, make a wish and you can be sure that it comes true.
The mythological aspect about Aquarius constellation goes about Ganymede who was the son of king Tros. One day Jupiter saw Ganymede on Mount Ida and got attracted to him. Jupiter transformed himself into a big bird and took Ganymede to the havens. Since that day, Ganymede is serving there as a water bearer so that its youthfulness stays immortal. According to Egyptians, Aquarius is a God of waters and he provides water to their farmland and rivers.
Some of the Facts and findings about Aquarius constellation are as below:
- English meaning of Aquarius is water-carrier, also known as the God of the waters.
- Its visibility range is between latitude +65 degrees and -90 degrees in the northern hemisphere.
- Between mid February to mid March, sun passes to this constellation.
- The adjacent constellations are Pisces and Cetus.
- People consider this is the oldest constellations because one can find it referred to in the written works of Ptolemy.
- October is the best month to observe this constellation.
- In 1846 Neptune was discovered in Aquarius.
M2, M72 and M73 are globular clusters and basically, Aquarius constellation is a collection of stars that have spherical shape. NGC7009 and NGC7293 are Nebula in this constellation. First one is also known as Saturn Nebula and second one as the helix Nebula. NGC7009 is one of the brightest Nebula in sky and when we see it with the help of a powerful telescope, its shape looks like planet Saturn which is why it is called Saturn Nebula. Eta, Delta and Iota Aquarids are responsible for meteor showers and are visible in following months:
Eta Aquarids: 21-April to 12- May
Delta Aquarids: 14-July to 18-August
Iota Aquarids: 1-July to 18-September (maximum activity in August)