Pronunciations/, genitive /
Symbolismthe Scorpion
Right ascension16.8875h
Area497 sq. deg. (33rd)
Main stars18
Stars with planets14
Stars brighter than 3.00m13
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)3
Brightest starAntares (α Sco) (0.96m)
Messier objects4
Meteor showersAlpha Scorpiids
Omega Scorpiids
Corona Australis
Visible at latitudes between +40° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of July.

Scorpius is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for scorpion, and its symbol is Scorpio.svg (Unicode ♏). Scorpius is one of the 48 constellations identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. It is an ancient constellation that pre-dated the Greeks.[1] It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. It is a large constellation located in the southern hemisphere near the center of the Milky Way.

Notable features


The constellation Scorpius as it can be seen by naked eye (with constellation lines drawn in).

Scorpius contains many bright stars, including Antares (α Sco), "rival of Mars," so named because of its distinct reddish hue; β1 Sco (Graffias or Acrab), a triple star; δ Sco (Dschubba, "the forehead"); θ Sco (Sargas, of unknown origin); ν Sco (Jabbah); ξ Sco; π Sco (Fang); σ Sco (Alniyat); and τ Sco (it proper name is Paikauhale[2] and also known as Alniyat, "the arteries"[3]

Marking the tip of the scorpion's curved tail are λ Sco (Shaula) and υ Sco (Lesath), whose names both mean "sting." Given their proximity to one another, λ Sco and υ Sco are sometimes referred to as the Cat's Eyes.[4]

The constellation's bright stars form a pattern like a longshoreman's hook. Most of them are massive members of the nearest OB association: Scorpius-Centaurus.[5]

The star δ Sco, after having been a stable 2.3 magnitude star, flared in July 2000 to 1.9 in a matter of weeks. It has since become a variable star fluctuating between 2.0 and 1.6.[6] This means that at its brightest it is the second brightest star in Scorpius.

U Scorpii is the fastest known nova with a period of about 10 years.[7]

The close pair of stars ω¹ Scorpii and ω² Scorpii are an optical double, which can be resolved by the unaided eye. They have contrasting blue and yellow colours.

The star once designated γ Sco (despite being well within the boundaries of Libra) is today known as σ Lib. Moreover, the entire constellation of Libra was considered to be claws of Scorpius (Chelae Scorpionis) in Ancient Greek times, with a set of scales held aloft by Astraea (represented by adjacent Virgo) being formed from these western-most stars during later Greek times. The division into Libra was formalised during Roman times.[citation needed]

Deep-sky objects

Scorpius and the Milky Way, with M4 and M80 visible near Antares, M6 and M7 just below centre, NGC 6124 at the top of the frame, and NGC 6334 just above centre.

Due to its location straddling the Milky Way, this constellation contains many deep-sky objects such as the open clusters Messier 6 (the Butterfly Cluster) and Messier 7 (the Ptolemy Cluster), NGC 6231 (by ζ² Sco), and the globular clusters Messier 4 and Messier 80.

Messier 80 (NGC 6093) is a globular cluster of magnitude 7.3, 33,000 light-years from Earth. It is a compact Shapley class II cluster; the classification indicates that it is highly concentrated and dense at its nucleus. M80 was discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier. It was the site of a rare discovery in 1860 when Arthur von Auwers discovered the nova T Scorpii.[8]

NGC 6302, also called the Bug Nebula, is a bipolar planetary nebula. NGC 6334, also known as the Cat's Paw Nebula, is an emission nebula and star-forming region.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Əqrəb (bürc)
Bân-lâm-gú: Giat-á-chō
башҡортса: Саян (йондоҙлоҡ)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Скарпіён (сузор’е)
brezhoneg: Krug (steredeg)
català: Escorpió
corsu: Scorpius
dansk: Skorpionen
galego: Scorpius
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Thiên-kiet-chho
한국어: 전갈자리
Bahasa Indonesia: Skorpio
Basa Jawa: Scorpius
Lëtzebuergesch: Scorpius (Stärebild)
Bahasa Melayu: Kala (buruj)
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Tiĕng-hiók-cô̤
Nāhuatl: Cītlalcōlōtl
日本語: さそり座
norsk: Skorpionen
norsk nynorsk: Skorpionen
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Aqrab
português: Scorpius
Runa Simi: Amaru kuntur
Scots: Scorpius
Simple English: Scorpius
slovenščina: Škorpijon (ozvezdje)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Škorpion (zviježđe)
татарча/tatarça: Гакрәп йолдызлыгы
українська: Скорпіон (сузір'я)
Tiếng Việt: Thiên Yết (chòm sao)
Winaray: Scorpius
粵語: 天蠍座
中文: 天蝎座