Name a Star in the Serpens Constellation

Modified: July 1, 2023     Author: International Star Registry

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Serpens is a large and winding constellation. It is one of the original 48 constellations identified by Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in his Almagest. The only areas on Earth that cannot see a portion of Serpens are the northern and southern polar regions. It is composed of Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda. Eugène Joseph Delporte (1882 – 1955) was a Belgian astronomer. As part of an early 20th effort by the newly formed International Astronomical Union. Delporte’s committee delineated precise boundaries for the 88 constellations. He divided Serpens into two parts, Serpens Caput (the head) to the west and Serpens Cauda (the tail) in the east. 

The list of celebrities and dignitaries that have stars named in the Serpens constellation isn’t sizable, but it is impressive, including: Ozzy Osbourne, Kevin Bacon, Rush Limbaugh, Jennifer Hudson, and Harry Roe Hughes. Click here for more information.

The constellation Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer) is situated between the two halves. This makes Serpens the only constellation that is bisected by another. The famous Eagle Nebula is located in the constellation Serpens. A famous 1995 Hubble Telescope image, “Pillars of Creation”, depicts to plumes of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula. The Serpens constellation can be seen from Hudson Bay to Australia. Serpens is bordered by Aquila, Boötes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Libra, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Scutum, and Virgo. 


Symbol: Ser 

Right Ascension: 04:28 

Declination: 3 

Diameter (°): 39 

Area (square °): 637 

Opposition: May 30 

Size Rank: 23rd 

Brightness Rank: 36th 

Genitive: Sepentis


Major or notable stars in Serpens 

Unukalhai – α Serpentis (Alpha Serpentis) 

η Serpentis (Eta Serpentis) 

μ Serpentis (Mu Serpentis) 

ξ Serpentis (Xi Serpentis) 

β Serpentis (Beta Serpentis) 

ε Serpentis (Epsilon Serpentis) 

δ Serpentis (Delta Serpentis) 

γ Serpentis (Gamma Serpentis) 

κ Serpentis (Kappa Serpentis) 

ν Serpentis (Nu Serpentis) 

λ Serpentis (Lambda Serpentis) 

Alya – θ Serpentis (Theta Serpentis) 

R Serpentis 

χ Serpentis (Chi Serpentis) 

τ Serpentis (Tau Serpentis) 

HD 168443 

HD 136118 

Gliese 710 


Deep Sky Objects in Serpens 

Messier 5 (M5, NGC 5904) 

Eagle Nebula – Messier 16 (M16, NGC 6611) 

IC 4703 

Seyfert’s Sextet – NGC 6027 

Red Square Nebula – MWC 922 

Hoag’s Object 

Serpens South star cluster 

NGC 6539 

Blinking Galaxy – NGC 6118 

Arp 220 

NGC 5964 

NGC 5970 

NGC 5962 

NGC 5921 


NGC 6604 

3C 321 

NGC 5972 

IC 4756 

NGC 6535 

Palomar 5 

Westerhout 40 


Mythology of the Constellation Serpens 

Very ancient, the serpent has always been shown as grasped in the hands of Ophiuchus. It is divided into two parts by some catalogues. Serpens Caput (the head) and Serpens Cauda (the tail) on either side of the serpent holder.The ancient Greek myth of Serpens is tied directly to the story of the healer, Ophiuchus. It is said to represent the serpent that brought a medicinal herb to the son of Apollo, Ophiuchus (Asclepius). With this herb, Ophiuchus became the first doctor and restored life to dying mortals. Unfortunately, the Gods felt that the ability to restore life would give immortality to mankind. Because this would throw off the balance of Heaven and Earth, Zeus killed Ophiuchus with a thunderbolt forged by the Cyclopes.  

The Caduceus, two snake entwined around a staff is the symbol for medicine today. This may be an homage to Ophiuchus as the first doctor. It may also be because the snake signifies the shedding of skin and a renewed life or well-being. The ancient biblical interpreters saw snakes differently. They would suggest the snake originated in the Garden of Eden and was a seducer of Eve. St. Patrick is said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland in the 5th Century. The Serpens constellation is also seen as a great wall surrounding the celestial marketplace (Tianshi) in Chinese astronomy. 


Q. What is Serpens? 

A. Serpens is the only one of the 88 modern constellations to be split into two disconnected regions in the sky: Serpens Caput (the head) and Serpens Cauda (the tail). 

Q. What is Beta Serpentis? 

A. Beta Serpentis is the brightest of four stars with an apparent magnitude of roughly 3.67 

Q. What are the stars in this region? 

A. Lying near the boundary with Ophiuchus are Zeta, Nu, and Omicron Serpentis. 

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