• PsA - Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish


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    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.

  • Sgr - Sagittarius the Archer

    IAU Constellation


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    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Look for teapot pattern to the east of Scorpius, complete with handle, lid, and spout. Tea pouring from the spout would indicate the direction of the center of Milky Way, and the entire constellation is rich with many stars. Try binoculars in the area where clusters gather like steam rising from the teapot.

    Centaur, half-man and half-horse, shooting an arrow. If you cannot see a creature half-man and half-horse in these stars, then try looking for a teapot. Four stars make the pot... Two stars form a handle... One star is a lid... And the tip of the bowman’s arrow makes a spout.

  • Bode (1801), Plate 1: Aries Planisphere


    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.