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.

Pronunciation/ˈskɔːrpiəs/, genitive /ˈskɔːrpiaɪ/
Symbolismthe Scorpion
Right ascension 16.8875h
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.

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.

Deep-sky objects

Antares overlooking an Auxiliary Telescope
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.


Sidney Hall - Urania's Mirror - Scorpio
Scorpius as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825.

In Greek mythology, the myths associated with Scorpio almost invariably also contain a reference to Orion. According to one of these myths it is written that Orion boasted to goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on the Earth. Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures. Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. The pair battled and the scorpion killed Orion.[9] However, the contest was apparently a lively one that caught the attention of the king of the gods Zeus, who later raised the scorpion to heaven and afterwards, at the request of Artemis, did the same for Orion to serve as a reminder for mortals to curb their excessive pride. There is also a version that Orion was better than the goddess Artemis but said that Artemis was better than he and so Artemis took a liking to Orion. The god Apollo, Artemis's twin brother, grew angry and sent a scorpion to attack Orion. After Orion was killed, Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion up in the sky. So every winter Orion hunts in the sky, but every summer he flees as the constellation of the scorpion comes.

In another Greek story involving Scorpio without Orion, Phaeton (the mortal male offspring of Helios) went to his father, who had earlier sworn by the River Styx to give Phaeton anything he should ask for. Phaeton wanted to drive his father's Sun Chariot for a day. Although Helios tried to dissuade his son, Phaeton was adamant. However, when the day arrived, Phaeton panicked and lost control of the white horses that drew the chariot. First, the Earth grew chill as Phaeton flew too high and encountered the celestial scorpion, its deadly sting raised to strike. Alarmed, he dipped the chariot too close, causing the vegetation to burn. By accident, Phaeton turned most of Africa into desert and darkened the skin of the Ethiopian nation until it was black. Eventually, Zeus was forced to intervene by striking the runaway chariot and Phaeton with a lightning bolt to put an end to its rampage and Phaeton plunged into the River Eridanos.[10]


The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB - the 'Scorpion', the signs can be literally read as 'the (creature with) a burning sting'.[11]

In some old descriptions the constellation of Libra is treated as the Scorpion's claws. Libra was known as the Claws of the Scorpion in Babylonian (zibānītu (compare Arabic zubānā)) and in Greek (χηλαι).[12]


The Western astrological sign Scorpio differs from the astronomical constellation. Astronomically, the sun is in Scorpius for just six days, from November 23 to November 28. Much of the difference is due to the constellation Ophiuchus, which is used by few astrologers. Scorpius corresponds to the Hindu nakshatras Anuradha, Jyeshtha, and Mula.


  • The Javanese people of Indonesia call this constellation Banyakangrem ("the brooded swan")[13] or Kalapa Doyong ("leaning coconut tree")[14] due to the shape similarity.
  • In Hawaii, Scorpius is known as the demigod Maui's Fishhook [15] or Ka Makau Nui o Māui (meaning the Big Fishhook of Māui) and the name of fishhook was Manaiakalani.[16]


  1. ^ Knight, J.D. "Constellation Scorpius - The Constellations on Sea and Sky". Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  2. ^ "IAU Catalog of Star Names". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  3. ^ Mark R. Chartrand III (1983) Skyguide: A Field Guide for Amateur Astronomers, p. 184 (ISBN 0-307-13667-1).
  4. ^ Fred Schaaf (Macmillan 1988) 40 Nights to Knowing the Sky: A Night-by-Night Sky-Watching Primer, p. 79 (ISBN 9780805046687).
  5. ^ Preibisch, T.; Mamajek, E. (2009). "The Nearest OB Association: Scorpius-Centaurus (Sco OB2)". Handbook of Star-Forming Regions. 2: 0. arXiv:0809.0407.
  6. ^ Delta Scorpii Still Showing Off
  7. ^ AAVSO: Variable Star of the Season: U Scorpii
  8. ^ Levy 2005, pp. 166-167.
  9. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad 18.486 citing Pherecydes
  10. ^ according to Scorpio - The Legend and Myth Archived 2008-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Woolfolk, Joanna (2011). Scorpio. Lanham: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-1589795600.
  12. ^ Babylonian Star-lore by Gavin White, Solaria Pubs, 2008 page 175
  13. ^ Daldjoeni, N (1984). "Pranatamangsa, the javanese agricultural calendar – Its bioclimatological and sociocultural function in developing rural life". The Environmentalist. 4: 15–18. doi:10.1007/BF01907286.
  14. ^ Jejak Langkah Astronomi di Indonesia
  15. ^ Hawaiian Astronomical Society, Constellations: Scorpius - The Scorpion who Killed Orion
  16. ^ Hawaiian Star Lines and Names for Stars - Star Line 3. Manaiakalani
  • Levy, David H. (2005). Deep Sky Objects. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-361-0.
  • Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0-00-725120-9. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0-691-13556-4.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 16h 53m 15s, −30° 44′ 12″

1RXS J160929.1−210524

1RXS J160929.1−210524 (also known as GSC 6213-1358 or PZ99 J160930.3−210459) is a pre-main-sequence star approximately 456 light-years away in the constellation of Scorpius.

The star was identified as a member of the Upper Scorpius subgroup of the Scorpius–Centaurus Association by Thomas Preibisch and coauthors in 1998, and originally assigned an age of 5 million years old based on its group membership.

A more recent analysis of the ages of the stars in the Upper Scorpius group pegs its average age at 11 million years.


Antares , designated α Scorpii (Latinised to Alpha Scorpii, abbreviated Alpha Sco, α Sco), is on average the fifteenth-brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest object in the constellation of Scorpius. Distinctly reddish when viewed with the naked eye, Antares is a slow irregular variable star that ranges in brightness from apparent magnitude +0.6 to +1.6. Often referred to as "the heart of the scorpion", Antares is flanked by σ Scorpii and τ Scorpii near the center of the constellation.

Classified as a red supergiant of spectral type M1.5Iab-Ib, Antares is a red supergiant, a large evolved massive star. Its exact size remains uncertain, but if placed at the center of the Solar System it would reach to somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Its mass is calculated to be around 12 times that of the Sun.

Antares is the brightest, most massive, and most evolved stellar member of the nearest OB association, the Scorpius–Centaurus Association. Antares is a member of the Upper Scorpius subgroup of the association, which contains thousands of stars with a mean age of 11 million years, about 170 parsecs (550 ly) from Earth.

Antares appears as a single star when viewed with the naked eye, but it is actually a binary star, with its two components called α Scorpii A and α Scorpii B. The brighter of the pair is the red supergiant, while the fainter is a hot main sequence star of magnitude 5.5.

Cyberman (audio drama series)

Cyberman is a series of Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Eight audio plays were produced in 2 series of 4 CDs. The series takes place during a fictional time in the Doctor Who universe known as the Orion Wars. During the Orion Wars, humanity is at war with androids who no longer wish to be under human control. The center of the action is Project Scorpius, a "military project gone dark, off the books."The series is produced by Nicholas Briggs and Big Finish Managing Director Jason Haigh-Ellery.

Delta Scorpii

Delta Scorpii (Latinised from δ Scorpii, abbreviated Delta Sco, δ Sco) is a binary star (the presence of a third star in the system is being debated) in the constellation of Scorpius. The primary star is named Dschubba .

Draco Malfoy

Draco Lucius Malfoy is a character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. He is a student in Harry Potter's year belonging in the Slytherin house. He is frequently accompanied by his two cronies, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, who act as henchmen. Draco is characterised as a cowardly bully who manipulates and hurts people to get what he wants; nevertheless, he is a cunning user of magic. He was played by Tom Felton in the Harry Potter film series.

EPIC 204278916

EPIC 204278916 is a pre-main-sequence star, about five million years old with a spectral type of M1, implying a red dwarf. It is part of the Upper Scorpius sub-group of the Scorpius–Centaurus Association, and is in the constellation Scorpius. The star is approximately the size of the Sun at 0.97 R☉, but is only half its mass (0.50 M☉) and a fraction of its luminosity (0.15 L☉).This stellar object was first characterized by the 2nd USNO CCD Astrograph Catalog and the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, and was further studied during the Kepler space telescope's extended K2 mission Campaign 2 between 23 August and 13 November 2014.


Farscape is an Australian-American science fiction television series, produced originally for the Nine Network. The series was conceived by Rockne S. O'Bannon and produced by The Jim Henson Company and Hallmark Entertainment. The Jim Henson Company was responsible for the various alien make-up and prosthetics, and two regular characters (the animatronic puppets Rygel and Pilot) are entirely Creature Shop creations.

Although the series was planned for five seasons, it was abruptly cancelled after production had ended on its fourth season, ending the series on a cliffhanger. Co-producer Brian Henson later secured the rights to Farscape, paving the way for a three-hour miniseries to wrap up the cliffhanger, titled Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, which Henson directed. In 2007, it was announced that the creator was returning for a web-series but production has been repeatedly delayed. A comic book miniseries was released in December 2008 that was in continuity with both the series and the hoped-for webisodes.

In February 2014 it was reported that a screenplay for a new Farscape movie was in development.On the date of the show’s twentieth anniversary- March 19, 2019- all four seasons of Farscape well as well as Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars were made available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Nordics, and several other countries around the world.

Gould Belt

The Gould Belt is a partial ring of stars in the Milky Way, about 3000 light years across, tilted toward the galactic plane by about 16 to 20 degrees. It contains many O- and B-type stars, and may represent the local spiral arm to which the Sun belongs—currently the Sun is about 325 light years from the arm's center. The belt is thought to be from 30 to 50 million years old, and of unknown origin. It is named after Benjamin Gould, who identified it in 1879.The belt contains bright stars in many constellations including (in order going more or less eastward) Cepheus, Lacerta, Perseus, Orion, Canis Major, Puppis, Vela, Carina, Crux (the Southern Cross), Centaurus, Lupus, and Scorpius (including the Scorpius-Centaurus Association). The Milky Way visible in the sky also passes through most of these constellations, but a bit southeast of Lupus.

HD 163376

HD 163376 is a star in the constellation Scorpius. Its apparent magnitude is 4.90.

H Scorpii

H Scorpii (H Sco) is a star in the constellation Scorpius. Its apparent magnitude is 4.18. It was initially given the Bayer designation Beta Normae by Lacaille but later moved from Norma to Scorpius.

Located around 343 light-years distant, it shines with a luminosity approximately 576 times that of the Sun and has a surface temperature of 4000 K.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a British two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by Thorne, J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany. Previews of the play began at the Palace Theatre, London on 7 June 2016, and it premiered on 30 July 2016.

The play opened on Broadway on 22 April 2018 at the Lyric Theatre, with previews starting on 16 March 2018. Its cast is similar to that of the first year on West End, with returning actors Anthony Boyle, Sam Clemmett, Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller, Jamie Parker, Alex Price, and Paul Thornley.

The story begins nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter, now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his younger son Albus Severus Potter, who is about to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

At the 2017 Laurence Olivier Awards, the London production received a record-breaking eleven nominations and won an again record-breaking nine awards, including Best New Play, Best Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Director. At the 2018 Tony Awards, the Broadway production won six awards, including Best Play. The play also set the record for highest all-time weekly ticket sales of any play after grossing over $2.5 million at the Lyric Theater for the week ending on December 30, 2018.

List of Farscape characters

This article contains information about fictional characters in the television series Farscape.

Messier 4

Messier 4 or M4 (also designated NGC 6121) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Scorpius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745 and catalogued by Charles Messier in 1764. It was the first globular cluster in which individual stars were resolved.

NGC 6124

NGC 6124 is an open cluster located 18,600 light years away in the constellation Scorpius. It was discovered by Abbe Lacaille in 1751 during his South African tour.

The cluster is large and bright, with about 125 stars visible.

Scorpio (astrology)

Scorpio (♏) is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Scorpius. It spans 210°–240° ecliptic longitude. Under the tropical zodiac (most commonly used in Western astrology), the Sun transits this sign on average from October 23 to November 22. Under the sidereal zodiac (most commonly used in Hindu astrology), the Sun is in Scorpio from approximately November 16 to December 15. Depending on which zodiac system one uses, an individual born under the influence of Scorpio may be called a Scorpio or a Scorpion.

Scorpius (novel)

Scorpius, first published in 1988, is the seventh novel by John Gardner featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. Carrying the Glidrose Publications copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Hodder & Stoughton (the first original Bond novel not to be published by Jonathan Cape) and in the United States by Putnam.

Scorpius X-1

Scorpius X-1 is an X-ray source located roughly 9000 light years away in the constellation Scorpius. Scorpius X-1 was the first extrasolar X-ray source discovered, and, aside from the Sun, it is the strongest apparent source of X-rays in the sky. The X-ray flux varies day-to-day, and is associated with an optically visible star, V818 Scorpii, that has an apparent magnitude which fluctuates between 12-13.

Scorpius–Centaurus Association

The Scorpius–Centaurus Association (sometimes called Sco–Cen or Sco OB2) is the nearest

OB association to the Sun. This stellar association is composed of three subgroups (Upper Scorpius,

Upper Centaurus–Lupus, and Lower Centaurus–Crux), whose mean distances range from

380 to 470 light years. Using improved Hipparcos data, Rizzuto and colleagues analysed nearby stars more closely, bringing the number of known members to 436. They doubt the need to add a subclassification because they found a more continuous spread of stars.The Sco–Cen subgroups range in age from 11 million years (Upper Scorpius) to roughly 15 million years (Upper Centaurus–Lupus and Lower Centaurus–Crux). Many of the bright stars in the constellations Scorpius, Lupus, Centaurus, and Crux are members of the Sco–Cen association, including Antares (the most massive member of Upper Scorpius), and most of the stars in the Southern Cross. Hundreds of stars have been identified as members of Sco-Cen, with masses ranging from roughly 15 solar masses (Antares) down to below the hydrogen-burning limit (i.e. brown dwarfs), and the total stellar population in each of the three subgroups is probably of the order 1000–2000.

The Sco–Cen OB association appears to be the most pronounced part of a large complex of recent (<20 million years) and ongoing star-formation. The complex contains several star-forming molecular clouds in Sco–Cen's immediate vicinity—the Rho Oph, Pipe Nebula, Barnard 68, Chamaeleon, Lupus, Corona Australis, and Coalsack cloud complexes (all at distances of ~120-200 parsecs), and several less populous, young stellar groups on the periphery of Sco–Cen, including the ~3–5 million-year-old epsilon Cha group, ~7 million-year-old eta Chamaeleontis cluster (also called Mamajek 1), ~8 million-year-old TW Hydrae association, ~12 million-year-old Beta Pictoris moving group, and possibly the ~30–50 million-year-old IC 2602 open cluster.The stellar members of the Sco–Cen association have convergent proper motions of approximately 0.02–0.04 arcseconds per year, indicative that the stars have nearly parallel velocity vectors, moving at about 20 km/s with respect to the Sun. The dispersion of the velocities within the subgroups are only of order 1–2 km/s, and the group is most likely gravitationally unbound. Several supernovae have exploded in Sco–Cen over the past 15 million years, leaving a network of expanding gas superbubbles around the group, including the Loop I Bubble.

To explain the presence of radioactive 60Fe in deep ocean ferromanganese crusts and in biogenic magnetite crystals within Pacific Ocean sediments it has been hypothesized that a nearby supernova, possibly a member of Sco–Cen, exploded in the Sun's vicinity roughly 3 million years ago, causing the Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary marine extinction. However, other findings cite the distance at which this supernova occurred at more than 100 parsec, maintaining that it is not likely not to have contributed to this extinction through the mechanism of what is known as the ultra-violet B (UV-B) catastrophe.

V1280 Scorpii

V1280 Scorpii (or Nova Scorpii 2007) is a nova observed in February 2007 in the constellation Scorpius, just south of M62. The nova was a 9th magnitude object when it was discovered independently by Yuji Nakamura and Yukio Sakurai from Japan, around February 4, and peaked at magnitude 3.9 on February 17.

Announced by the IAU in Electronic Telegram No. 835 and Circular No. 8803

23 days after discovery, dust formation was found to be occurring in the ejecta, consistent with the classification of the event as a CO nova. This dust formation peaked between 36 and 45 days from the wind that was mainly ejected 10.5 days after the event. On day 100, another brightening was observed, which corresponded to a second mass loss event. The expanding dust shell around the nova has an estimated velocity of 350 km/s.

Stars of Scorpius
Constellation history
Astrological signs
Western astrology

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