Looking For Celestial Seafood
Constellation Of The Fish
The Pisces constellation is represented as two fish swimming away from
each other in a skewed < shape, but connected to each other at the tail by a cord.
According to legend, during the attack on the Gods by Typhon- which you'll
remember caused the god Pan to become Capricornus the Seagoat-represented as the
Capricorn zodiac sign
, Aphrodite(Venus) and her son Eros(cupid) changed themselves into fish and swam away.
To keep from getting separated they tied themselves together with a cord at the tails.
Stargazing Pisces Constellation
Pisces is the constellation now that contains the vernal equinox. Formerly in Aries, this is the point in which the sun crosses the celestial equator into the northern hemisphere.
Unfortunately for the backyard stargazer, Pisces is a very dim constellation.
Its brightest star being of only 4th magnitude. In astronomy lower magnitudes are brighter. So a 1st magnitude star is more luminous or brighter
than a 2nd magnitude star.
This slightly V-shaped constellation has few bright stars. One area of note
is called the Circlet of Pisces. This marks the western fish and can be found
south of the Great Square of Pegasus, in the
.The brightest star here is the 3.7-magnitude Gamma Piscium.
Moving counterclockwise around the circlet we next find Theta Piscium at magnitude 4.26.
Then comes Iota Piscium at magnitude 4.13. Lastly is Lambda Piscium at magnitude 4.49.
Marking the bottom of the V-shape where the rope holding the fish together bends is a
magnitude 3.82 star named Alrescha. Fourteen degrees northwest is magnitude 3.62 Eta Piscium.
While there are many faint galaxies in Pisces, there is only one that makes a good
observing target for the casual amateur astronomer. That galaxy is M74,
just a little more than one degree east of Eta Piscium.
The magnitude 9.19 galaxy is a challenge for small telescopes.
The constellation of Pisces can be found rising in the evening sky in fall.
Right Ascension: 1 hour
Declination: 15 degrees
Visible between latitudes 90 and -65 degrees
Best seen in November (at 9:00 PM)
Named Stars :
Alrisha (Alpha Psc)
Fum al Samakah (Beta Psc)
Torcularis Septentrionalis (Omicron Psc).
Located between the Zodiac
Pisces constellation back to zodiac homepage
constellations and backyard stargazing