The American Association of Amateur Astronomers
The Constellation Aries - The
Aries, the ram, is the first of the 12 Zodiacal
Constellations, and marks the Vernal Equinox, or the beginning of Spring. This
location, where the sun crosses the celestial equator, is called the First Point
of Aries, and was determined in mythological times. Now, however, due to the
precession or wobble of the Earth's orbit, this point has moved into western Pisces.
As for all zodiacal constellations, it is possible to view this constellation in
the sky only in the opposite season of the year, in this case Autumn. This
constellation dates from Greek and Roman times, and depicts the Golden Ram that
was sacrificed by Phrixus to bring fertility to his homeland in Thessaly. The
Golden Fleece of the sacrificed ram was given to Jason and the Argonauts to
return it home.
Aries is devoid of prominent deep sky objects, and has
only a few stars of interest, notably the triangle made up of the principal
stars in the constellation. The ecliptic runs through Aries, so planets can
often be seen in this area of the sky.
Article and Photos © Copyright Edward
P. Flaspoehler, Jr.
There are no Messier Objects in Pisces
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EDITOR: Edward P. Flaspoehler, Jr.
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