Ophiuchus the Snake Bearer represents the healer Asclepius who was a god of healing in classical times. He was associated with snakes – symbols of wisdom and regeneration – and in the sky he's entwined with Serpens. Here's a selection of some of points of interest in his constellation.
Snakes were revered in ancient Greece. They represented wisdom, healing and rebirth. The constellation Serpens was included in a star catalog in the 2nd century, but it's much older than that. Seen through telescopes, it's rich in deep sky objects. Here's a tour of some of the highlights.
Nebulae are titanic clouds of gas and dust – celestial gossamer in the spaces between the stars. They're stellar nurseries, stellar graveyards and dark constellations. Some of their mysteries have been penetrated by infrared telescopes, but the cloaking dust still keeps some secrets.
New Horizons was nearing Pluto in 2015 and the mission team would need names for the surface features they discovered. So they appealed to the public. The names would
be informal ones, but they hoped the International Astronomical Union (IAU) would make them official.
Astronomy is an ancient science, and today a popular profession and pastime. But what attracts people to astronomy? What's special about it? Here are some answers to this question in the words of astronomers through the ages.
The Space Age has changed the way we communicate, and in 1962 Telstar was the herald of this change. It was an experimental satellite, but it helped to make the world more intimate. Telstar was disabled by nuclear testing, but it lives on in a pop song and modern telecom satellites.
What links the USA's Independence Day holiday, the Crab Nebula and NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft? What links the American War of Independence with the planet Uranus? And what is the Fireworks Galaxy? Here's the story.
Each day for six months after the winter solstice, the Sun rises a bit higher in the sky. It reaches the maximum height at the summer solstice, the longest day. Evidence of rituals and festivals at the times of the solstices goes back thousands of years.
What's the difference between a meteor, a meteorite and a meteoroid? Is one of them the same as a shooting star? And what about asteroids and planetoids - which one is a minor planet? If any of these terms have puzzled you, here is a guide to help you out.
Henrietta Leavitt isn't a well known name, but a century ago she made one of the most important discoveries of 20th century astronomy. Previously, astronomers could only measure distances up to 100 light years, but her work extended that to 10 million light years.
It's the place where time begins: The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England. Here you can stand on the Prime Meridian of the world with one foot in the western hemisphere and the other in the eastern hemisphere. It represents over three hundred years of astronomical and maritime history.