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S E R P E N S   C A U D A


ori.gif (1448 bytes) Mythology and history

Mythology of Ophiuchus and Serpens Cauda & Caput

     The constellation of Serpens and Ophiuchus has been known for more than fifty centuries and the old ones saw in her the figure of a gigantic man narrowing one long serpent. Serpentario was called to him; but immediately the authentic human figure was distinguished (to which it was designated with the name of Greek origin Ofiuco, that it means: The one that takes the serpent; of the one of the winding reptile which, showing to the right and the left seems to move the long neck in direction the northwest (head of the serpent or Serpens Caput) while the western South flank of Ofiuco surrounds with its ring of great volume (tail of serpent or Serpens Tail). To 1930, the Astronomical Union the International fixed the limits that was to attribute to the different parts that are those that at the moment is known.


ori.gif (1448 bytes) Characteristics

        The constellation of Serpens appears since we have commented in two separated parts of the firmament by Ophiuchus, as much to the east as to the west of the constellation. According to the Astronomical Union the International deals with like an only constellation with the generic name about Serpens and the genitive Serpentis. However, in my particular case, of always I have considered to Serpens like two independent constellations with its own nomenclatures and observations differentiated clearly. In the following table I specify so much to you the genitivo and nominative case used in both constellations like its dates of location that as for me were in different dates.


Constellation Genitive Date and place of location
Serpens Caput  (SCp) Serpens Caputis 15 of April of 1982, from the locality of Inca (Majorca)
Serpens Tail (SCd) Serpens Caudae 17 of April of 1982, from the locality of Inca (Majorca)


            When discovering them in different dates and since I have commented to you with observations by telescope different I considered to separate both constellations independently. In order to obtain the reduced nomenclature of both constellations I was based on which correspond to the constellations of the dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor whose nomenclature is respectively CMa and CMi. That is to say, first letter "C" corresponds to the Canis=C constellation; second and also in capital letters to the first letter of the second word of the constellation, "M"; M=Major or Minor, and third, logically to distinguish them it logically corresponds to the second letter of the second word but this in a=Major and i=Minor small letter; therefore, CMa corresponds to Canis Major and CMi to Canise Minor. If the logic explained previously in the dogs we transferred to a the constellation of Serpens or constellations of Serpens Cauda and Serpens Caput the result he will be the following one:

1ª letter: The initial of the constellations: S of Serpens in capital letters. S

2ª letter: The initial of the second word of both constellations, Cauda and Caput, corresponds capital C exactly. SC

3ª letter: and to the definitive one to distinguish it would have them of being the second letter of both terms; but causal both have to the letter to small letter and as in the abbreviations of the constellations three are admitted at the most letters we must go to us by simple logic to the third letter of the second word; and it is there where we found the difference, for Tail third she would be to or very small and for Caput the very small letter p, but when looking for a unification of both constellations third will have to be a consonant therefore, of the letter or happens to become consonant d.  Therefore we have left that for the constellation of Serpens Tail the result is SCd and for Serpens Caput SCp.

            The constellation of Serpens Caput is to the west of the constellation of Ophiuchus and in the celestial equator, he is observable in both hemispheres during the months of March to September. It limits the north, this and leaves from the south with the constellation of Ophiuchus, the rest of the south with Sagittarius and to the west with Scutum and again Aquila. It is a small constellation very staggered whose celestial equator crosses it by the north, is in the equator of our galaxy the Milky Route therefore, we can descry in her great amount of stars and stellar clusters. I located the 17 to it of April of 1982 at the age of 15 years from the Majorcan locality of Inca, Spain

Constelación de Serpens Cauda


Main stars

       Eta, h; with a magnitude of 3.25 it is of orange color or spectral type K, is to 61 years light and it reveals to us that the star is a giant 15 times more luminous than the Sun is located in the center of the constellation.

      Cheta, q; denominated Alya or Alga, with a magnitude of 4.61, light is to 132 years, its color is white of type To, is also a giant 19 times more luminous than our Sun is closely together located to the north of the constellation of the constellation of the eagle, Aquila. One is a precious double star.

    Xí, x; it stars white, of phantom To, whose magnitude is of 3.54 which light of us is closely together to 105 years located to the south of the constellation of the constellation of Ophiuchus.


Other objects

           M 16; precious stellar cluster with associated nebula of magnitude 6.00 located to 8,150 years light of us, has an angular diameter of 6' of arc and a considered age of 5,5 million years, is formed by 100 stars of the eighth magnitude. One is closely together of the constellation of Scutum.


ori.gif (1448 bytes) Observations by telescope


Nom: u R.A.: 17h.18m.

Dec: -12º47'

Mag: 4.8,9.0 Sep.: 48" P.A.: 30º Nat: ? Spec.: ?, ?
AOC: 297 DSC: 216 D.D.S.: 23h.16m.(UT); 9-June-1985



            NOTE: One is in a partially rich zone. There is a remarkable difference of brightness between the components, are slightly separated, profit not to identify the colors, is unfolded without difficulty with the eyeglass of 50x.



IC: 4756

M: -- R.A.: 18h.37m. Dec: 05º26'
Mag: 5.1 Dim: 70' AOC: 308 CNAO: 86
D.D.S.: 23h.54m.(UT); 10-June-1985  



             NOTE: One is a precious stellar accumulation enormous, and very rich. Formed by seventy stars of eighth magnitude, being the average of 8.3. it has a slight concentration towards the center, his structure is amorphous. Distinguishing infinity of triangles and rhombuses.



Nom: q R.A.: 18h.54m.

Dec: 04º08'

Mag: 4.0,4.2 Sep.: 22" P.A.: 104º Nat: f? Spec.: A, A
AOC: 309 DSC: 223 D.D.S.: 00h.11m.(UT); 11-June-1985



            NOTE: One is in a very rich zone. Brightness is a precious double of similarity and slightly separated. Both components I see white them, is unfolded without difficulty with the eyeglass of 50x.



Nom: S 2375 R.A.: 18h.43m.

Dec: 05º27'

Mag: 6.3,6.7 Sep.: 2.4" P.A.: 315º Nat: ph Spec.: A, A
AOC: 310 DSC: 224 D.D.S.: 00h.21m.(UT); 11-June-1985



            NOTE: One is in a rich zone. There is a slight difference of brightness, are very together, unfolds with the eyeglass of 100x. Both components I see them of white color.



Nom: 59d R.A.: 18h.25m.

Dec: 00º10'

Mag: 5.4,7.7 Sep.: 4.1" P.A.: 315º Nat: f Spec.: ?, ?
AOC: 311 DSC: 225 D.D.S.: 00h.33m.(UT); 11-June-1985



           NOTE: One is in a rich zone. One is a precious double with a slight difference of brightness between the components, are something tight, although it is unfolded without difficulty with the eyeglass of 50x.




M: 16 R.A.: 18h.16m. Dec: -13º18'
Mag: 6.4 Dim: 25' AOC: 312 CNAO: 87
D.D.S.: 00h.43m.(UT); 11-June-1985  


NGC: 6611

M: --

R.A.: 18h.16m.

Dec: -13º18'

Mag: 6.4 Dim: 25' AOC: 313 CNAO: 88
D.D.S.: 00h.45m.(UT); 11-June-1985  



            NOTE: One is in a very rich zone. The accumulation is identified in the beginning that is not very great, does not have concentration towards the center and of structure in form of V. He is very pretty and easy to identify, later the nebula is identified that surrounds to the accumulation with the characteristic form of V or eagle. It is not difficult to identify it, although it is necessary one night transparent. The set in himself is spectacular.


ori.gif (1448 bytes) Other constellations

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