Oph - Ophiuchus, the Serpent Handler

Legend for constellation star maps, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), cc-by

Intro and Visual description

Between Scorpius and Hercules. Contains Barnard’s star, the third closest star to the earth (after the Sun and Alpha Centauri). Barnard’s star is a dim red dwarf 6 light-years away.

Ophiuchus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

Represents Aesculapius, the Roman god of medicine and healing.


Star Clusters

M9 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.0.
M10 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.7.

M12 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.6.

M14 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.0.

M19 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.9.

M62 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.6.

M107 (Globular cluster), mag. 9.2.



Constellation Info

Abbr: Oph

Genitive: Ophiuchi

Size: 11 of 88

RA: 17 hours

Evening culmination (9 pm): July

Midnight Culmination: June

Decl: -10 degrees

Entirely visible from: between -76° and 60° latitude

Partially visible from: S of -76° latitude, and N of 60° latitude

Not visible at all from: nowhere


Bordering constellations:

Constellation - Names

Arabic: الحواء

Chinese: 蛇夫座

English: Snake Handler

French: Ophiuchus

German: Schlangenträger

Greek: Οφιούχος

Hebrew: נושא הנחש

Italian: Ofiucho

Latin: Ophiuchus

Russian: Змееносец

Spanish: Ofiuco, Serpentario

Related Asterisms