Aquila Constellation
The Eagle Has Landed

The Aquila constellation symbolizes Zeus' giant eagle that performed many tasks for the Gods and was given a place amongst the stars.

Aquila was thought to carry Zeus' lightning bolts. During the battle against the Titans, Aquila was awesome at this task and helped the Gods win the war.

He was loyal to Zeus and was always perched on his shoulder.

Aquila was sent by Zeus to capture Ganymede and bring him to the Gods to serve as cup-bearer.

In this constellation myth, Aquila, the giant eagle swooped down and capturing Ganymede, carried him up to Mount Olympus where Ganymede served the Gods as Aquarius the Water-Bearer.

Aquila, along with Cygnus the Swan, and Lyra which was seen as a vulture( carrying a lyre and not the lyre itself), are the Stymphalian Birds from the Labours of Hercules. The three alpha stars from these constellations, Altair in Aquila, Deneb in Cygnus, and Vega in Lyra, form the Summer Triangle.

These are very bright stars and the triangle is very recognizable in the northern hemisphere.

aquila constellation stars aquila constellation with lines

Watching The Eagle Soar

Right Ascension: 20 hours

Declination: 5 degrees

Visible between latitudes 85 and -75 degrees

Best seen in September (at 9:00 PM)

Named Stars: ALTAIR (Alpha Aql) ALSHAIN (Beta Aql) TARAZED (Gamma Aql) Deneb el Okab (Epsilon Aql) Deneb el Okab (Zeta Aql)

Altair is a bright star of magnitude 0.8.

Aquila has many clusters and nebulae to view.

Open clusters:NGC6709, NGC6755, NGC6749.

Globular cluster NGC6760 which has a 9.1 magnitude.

Planetary nebulae: NGC6778, NGC6741, NGC6772

NGC6804 looks like a small bright ring.

NGC6751 the "glowing eye" nebula.

NGC6781 with an appearance similar to the owl nebula in Ursa Major(the big dipper constellation)

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