Pisces (constellation)

Pisces (constellation)

Infobox Constellation
name = Pisces
abbreviation = Psc
genitive = Piscium
symbology = the Fish
RA = 1
dec= +15
areatotal = 889
arearank = 14th
numbermainstars = 21
numberbfstars = 86
numberstarsplanets = 5
numberbrightstars = 0
numbernearbystars = 5
brighteststarname = η Psc
starmagnitude = 3.6
neareststarname = Van Maanen's Star
stardistance = 14.1
numbermessierobjects = 1 | meteorshowers =Piscids
bordering =Triangulum
latmax = 90
latmin = 65
month = November

Pisces (pronEng|ˈpaɪsiːz, _la. fish (plural), symbol to the east.

The Vernal equinox is currently located in Pisces, due south of ω Psc, and, due to precession, slowly drifting below the western fish towards Aquarius.


The constellation resembles two fish, 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 [ [http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/pisces.htm Star Tales – Pisces] ] in Greek mythology, this constellation represents fish into which Aphrodite and her son Eros transformed in order to escape the monstrous Typhon. The two fish are often depicted tied together with a cord (on their tails), to make sure they do not lose one another.

According to another versionFact|date=February 2007, 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 Hercules.


The Western astrological sign Pisces of the tropical zodiac (February 19 - March 21) differs from the astronomical constellation and the Hindu astrological sign of the sidereal zodiac (March 12 - April 18).

Notable deep sky objects

Pisces contains one galaxy that is listed in Charles Messier's catalog, namely the spiral galaxy Messier 74.

Named Stars

* ά...........Al Rischa....Arabic...the cord
* β...........Samaka........Arabic.......fish
* δ...........Linteum........Latin........line
* ό...........Torcular........Latin........tube shaped
* έ...........Kaht............Persian......astrological
* ή...........Kullat Nunu...Akkadian...fish
* ζ...........Revati........Hindi......wealthy
* In addition, van Maanen's Star, at 12.36 magnitude, is located in this constellation.


* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). "Stars and Planets Guide", Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
* Richard Hinckley Allen, "Star Names, Their Lore and Legenc", New York, Dover: various dates.
* Thomas Wm. Hamilton, "Useful Star Names", Holbrook, NY, Viewlex: 1968.

External links

* [http://www.allthesky.com/constellations/pisces/ The Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations: Pisces]
* [http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/pisces.htm Star Tales – Pisces]

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