Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Scorpius (♏, and Latin for scorpion) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. In western astrology it is known as "Scorpio". 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.
Scorpius contains many bright stars, including Antares (α Sco), Graffias (β1 Sco), Dschubba (δ Sco), Sargas (θ Sco), Shaula (λ Sco), Jabbah (ν Sco), Grafias (ξ Sco), Alniyat (σ Sco), Alniyat (τ Sco) and Lesath (υ Sco).
Notable deep sky objects
Due to its location on the Milky Way, this constellation contains many deep sky objects such as the open clusters M6 (the Butterfly Cluster) and M7 (the Ptolemy Cluster), and the globular clusters M4 and M80.
Scorpio resembles, quite noticably, a scorpion's tail, and a vague body . According to Greek mythology, it corresponds to the scorpion which was sent by Gaia (or possibly the goddess Hera) to kill the hunter Orion, the scorpion rising out of the ground at the goddess' command to attack. Although the scorpion and Orion appear together in this myth, the constellation of Orion is almost opposite to Scorpius in the night sky. It has been suggested that this was a divine precaution to forestall the heavenly continuation of the feud.
In many versions, however, Apollo sent the scorpion after Orion, having grown jealous of Artemis' attentions to the man. Later, to apologize for killing her friend, Apollo then helped Artemis hang Orion's image in the night sky. However, the scorpion was also placed up there, and every time it appears on the horizon, Orion starts to sink into the other side of the sky, still running from the attacker.
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 encountered 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 (this is said to have formed the constellation Eridanus). Finally, Jupiter struck him down with a thunderbolt to stop the rampage.
The Chinese included these stars in the Azure Dragon, a powerful but benevolent creature whose rising heralded spring.
The astrological sign Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Scorpio is associated with the classical element Water, and thus called a Water Sign (with Cancer and Pisces). It is also one of the four Fixed signs (along with Taurus, Leo, and Aquarius). Its polar opposite is Taurus. Its ruling planet is Pluto (prior to Pluto's discovery Mars was considered Scorpio's ruling planet). Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Scorpio rules the genitals. The symbols for Scorpio are the scorpion, the eagle, lizard and the pheonix. The qualities of Scorpio include: a lifelong fascination with sex, birth, and death, an extremely focused nature, penetrative insight, a strong sense of privacy, and an ability to subtly affect others in profound (often sexual) ways. Negatively, Scorpios can be very secretive, obsessive and vindictive.
Famous Scorpios: Hillary Rodham Clinton (October 26), Bill Gates (October 28), Joaquin Phoenix (October 28), Julia Roberts (October 28), Richard Dreyfuss (October 29), Winona Ryder (October 29), Jenny McCarthy (November 01), Larry Flynt (November 01), k.d. lang, (November 02), Pat Buchanan (November 02), Roseanne (November 03), Matthew McConaughey (November 04), Ethan Hawke (November 06), Maria Shriver (November 06), Sally Field (November 06), Joni Mitchell (November 07), Parker Posey (November 08), Brittany Murphy (November 10), Calista Flockhart (November 11), Demi Moore (November 11), Leonardo DiCaprio (November 11), Ryan Gosling (November 12), David Schwimmer (November 12), Whoopi Goldberg (November 13), Danny DeVito (November 17), Martin Scorsese (November 17), Linda Evans (November 18), Owen Wilson (November 18), Calvin Klein (November 19), Jodie Foster (November 19), Larry King (November 19), Bo Derek (November 20), Björk (November 21), Goldie Hawn (November 21)
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