Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pisces is quite a dim constellation; the brightest star, η Piscium, is only of magnitude 3,6. α Piscium is called Alrisha, "the knot," being the knot that ties the two fishes together.
Notable deep-sky objects
M74, an attractive but dim spiral galaxy, is found just northeast of η Piscium.
The constellation resembles two roundish objects each of which is tied to the same point by a long length of string . Generally the objects have been considered as fish, although since by including fainter stars visible to the naked eye, the strings themself take on the appearance of stick-figure bodies (with the roundish objects thus becoming heads), some forms of early Greek mythology viewed it as men bound to a point. It is generally thought that in earlier depictions, only the constellation Piscis Austrinus was considered to be a fish.
According to one version in Greek mythology, this constellation represents fish into which Aphrodite and Eros transformed in order to escape the monstrous Typhon. The two fishes are often depicted tied together with a cord, to make sure they do not lose one another.
According to another version, since the binding point is below the ecliptic, and thus considered to represent being in the underworld, and that one of the figures (the one on the left) appears to escape, but the other (on the right) seems to head back toward the ecliptic, then, together with Cetus (another constellation in the Zodiac sign of Pisces), this may have formed the basis of the myth of the capture of Cerberus, one of The Twelve Labours of Herakles.
The constellation also gives its name to the astrological sign Pisces, (February 19 - March 20). Its ruling planet is Neptune (prior to Neptune's discovery Jupiter was considered Pisces' ruling planet). Pisces is a mutable water sign, and rules over the feet. It is associated with the Twelfth house of the horoscope, and therefore also rules over drugs, secrets, and large institutions, such as prisons, hospitals, and even business or governmental organisations.
Piscean qualities, in general, are: extreme emotional sensitivity, compassion toward others, self sacrifice, imagination, inspiration, spirituality, and unconditional love.
Cindy Crawford (February 20), Kurt Cobain (February 20), Hubert de Givenchy (February 21), George Washington (February 22), Drew Barrymore (February 22), George Harrison (February 24), Steve Jobs (February 24), Lleyton Hewitt (February 24), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (February 25), Neil Jordan (February 25), Michael Bolton (February 26), John Steinbeck (February 27), Elizabeth Taylor (February 27), Linus Pauling (February 28), Lou Reed (March 2), Jon Bon Jovi (March 2), Tom Wolfe (March 2), Zhou Enlai (March 5), Pier Paolo Pasolini (March 5), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (March 6), Adam Osborne (March 6), Howard Aiken (March 9), Yuri Gagarin (March 9), Douglas Noel Adams (March 11), Astor Piazzolla (March 11), Jack Kerouac (March 12), Albert Einstein (March 14), Billy Crystal (March 14), Ry Cooder (March 15), Bernardo Bertolucci (March 16), Richard Stallman (March 16), Nat King Cole (March 17), Luc Besson (March 18), Vanessa Williams (March 18), Glenn Close (March 19), Bruce Willis (March 19), Spike Lee (March 20), Holly Hunter (March 20)
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