• PsA - Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish

    Size

    60 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Unlike Pisces, the zodiac constellation which consists of two fish held together by a string, Piscis Austrinus is a single fish. Piscis Austrinus is a very faint constellation located south of Aquarius, and is often depicted as drinking from Aquarius’ water jar (but why would a fish want to drink water??). Except for the bright star Formalhaut, Piscis Austrinus is rather unremarkable.

  • Scl - Sculptor the Sculptor's Workshop

    Size

    36 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Located south of the flukes of Cetus the Whale. Trace to it by following a line southward from Alpheratz (the corner of Pegasus and Andromeda) through gamma-Pegasi, across Pisces and Cetus. This line will run through Beta-Ceti (Diphda) just before reaching the faint stars of Sculptor (alpha-Sculptoris is only magnitude 4.3). Look for it from northern latitudes barely visible low in the south during September and October.

  • Bode (1801), Plate 1: Aries Planisphere

    Image

    Uranographia Tab I. Stellatum Hemisphaeri um Arietis

    Bode included two planisphere plates. They are not southern and northern hemispheres; each one has Polaris at the top and the south pole at the bottom. Each one is centered upon an equinox point (where the ecliptic or path of the Sun and the celestial equator intersect). The March equinox point was in Aries in antiquity; by Bode’s time, due to the precession of the equinoxes, it had shifted to Pisces. The September equinox point was in Libra in antiquity; by Bode’s time it had shifted to Virgo.  Bode titled the plates as the Aries and Libra planispheres.

    The Aries planisphere, centered on the March equinox in Pisces, includes these constellations, among others, which appear high overhead in the night skies of autumn:

    Equatorial:  Orion, Taurus, Harpa Georgii, Cetus, Aries, Pisces, Pegasus, Aquarius, Aquila, Scutum.

    Northern:  Auriga, Perseus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Draco, Honores Frederici, Cepheus, Cygnus, Lyra.

    Southern:  Eridanus, Apparatus Chemicus, Machina Electrica, Apparatus Sculptoris, Horologium, Toucan, Phoenix, Grus, Indus, Pavo, Tubus Astronomicus, Octans Nautica, Microscopium, Sagittarius, Globus Aerostatic.

    In March, the Aries-Pisces equinox (the center of the Aries planisphere) is traveling with the Sun, rising in the east in the mornings and setting in the west in the evenings. Imagine the center of the planisphere has the Sun pinned to it for that day, and that’s how it would move across the sky. Therefore the constellations near the center of this planisphere are invisible in the daytime sky at that time unless there is a solar eclipse. They would be visible directly opposite the Sun at the September equinox.