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Aquarius viewing and history
Aquarius can be found in the SE sky in autumn, especially October. A
dark night is especially helpful because many faint stars make up
Aquarius. This will help to make the fainter stars stand out because its
hard enough to see a shape in Aquarius. Up and to the west of aquarius,
pegasus can be found. Down and to the east of aquarius, capricorn can be
Aquarius portrays a man or boy spilling water from an urn. Aquarius is
identified with Ganymede, a beautiful young shepherd who was abducted by
Zeus and taken to Mount Olympus to be the cup bearer for the gods.
Sadalmelik: Arabic for "lucky one of the king". It lies just off the
Sudalsud: It means "luckiest of the lucky" in Arabic. It is the
brightest star in the constellation
Sadachbia: Arabic for "lucky star of hidden things" or " lucky star of
the tents." This makes up part of the asterism sometimes called the
tent, but is usually called the urn referring to Aquarius.
Skat or Scheat: It comes from the Arabic word for shin and it dates back
to the translation of Ptolemy's Almagest.
Albali: The name comes from the Arabic, which means "swallower"; no one
really knows why the star got this name
Situla: This name comes from Latin and means "well bucket". Situla was
the original Arabic name for the entire constellation Aquarius.
There are three star clusters contained in Aquarius. M2, which was
discovered in 1764, is one that can be seen with a small telescope. A
larger telescope is needed to make out the individual stars. M72 is
another cluster that is located southeast of Albali and isn't far from
the Saturn Nebula. NGC 7492 is the third cluster and is located east of
Aquarius also has two nebulae in it. It is called the Saturn Nebula
because it resembles the rings on Saturn. A very large telescope is
needed to see its rings. It was discovered in 1782 by William Herschel.
In a small telescopes it will appear as faint disks of fuzzy light. It
lies southeast of Albali near the cluster M72. Its central star can be
spotted with a large telescope. The other nebula, NGC 7923 is southwest
of Skat and is a well known Helix Nebula. It is brighter than NGC 7009,
the Saturn nebula, but has a fainter central star.
There are five galaxies in Aquarius but they only appear as fuzzy
patches in amateur telescopes. They are: NGC 7184, NGC 7606, NGC 7721,
NGC 7723, and NGC 7727.
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