Scorpius

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Scorpius (the scorpion) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It is also known as Scorpio, especially in astrology, and in fact this form is by far the more common word for scorpion in Latin, but is not preferred by the IAU. 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. Due to its location this constellation contains many deep sky objects such as the open clusters M6 and M7 and the globular clusters M4 and M80. Its brightest stars are Antares (α Sco), Graffias (β1 Sco), Dschubba (δ Sco), Sargas (θ Sco), Shaula (λ Sco), Jabah (ν Sco), Grafias (ξ Sco), Alniyat (σ Sco), Alniyat (τ Sco) and Lesath (υ Sco).

According to Greek mythology, it corresponds to the scorpion which was sent by Gaia (or possibly the goddess Juno to kill the hunter Orion. Since it rose out of the ground at the goddess' command to attack, it is near the constellation of Orion.

Scorpius also appears in one version of the fable of Phaethon, a foolish mortal who obtained permission to drive the Apollo's sun-chariot for a day. The horses, already out of control in their sky journey became scared when they encounted the great celestial scorpion with its sting raised to strike, and the inexperienced boy lost control of the chariot, as the sun wildly went about the sky. Finally, Jupiter struck him down with a thunderbolt to stop the rampage.

Astrology

In some cosmologies, Scorpio is associated with the classical element Water, and thus called an Earth Sign (with Cancer and Pisces). Its polar opposite is Taurus.


Zodiac signs : Aries -- Taurus -- Gemini -- Cancer -- Leo -- Virgo -- Libra -- Scorpio -- Sagittarius -- Capricorn -- Aquarius -- Pisces