Pisces (constellation)

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Pisces is a constellation of the zodiac. Its name is the Latin plural for fish, and its symbol is Pisces.svg (Unicode ♓). It lies between Aquarius to the west and Aries to the east. The ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect within this constellation and in Virgo.

Contents

Notable features

The Vernal equinox is currently located in Pisces, due south of ω Psc, and, due to precession, slowly drifting below the western fish towards Aquarius.

Van Maanen's Star, at 12.36 magnitude, is located in this constellation.

Pisces contains one galaxy that is listed in Charles Messier's catalog, named the spiral galaxy Messier 74.

Asterisms and subdivison

  • Testudo (the Turtle):[1] 24 - 27 - YY(30) - 33 - 29 Psc.[2]

This was an obsolete constellation located between the constellations of Pisces and Cetus, today constituting a natural but faint asterism, where the star 20 Psc is intended to be the head of the turtle. The origin of the constellation is uncertain, but it is alleged that it was proposed by the astronomer Admiral Smyth in his book[3] in the middle of 19th century.[4]

  • Piscis Boreus (the North Fish):[5] σ - 68 - 65 - 67 - ψ1 - ψ2 - ψ3 - χ - φ - υ - 91 - τ - 82 - 78 Psc.
  • Linum Boreum (the North Cord):[5] χ - ρ,94 - VX(97) - η - π - ο - α Psc.
  • Linum Austrinum (the South Cord):[5] α - ξ - ν - μ - ζ - ε - δ - 41 - 35 - ω Psc.
  • Piscis Austrinus (the South Fish):[5] ω - ι - θ - 7 - β - 5 - κ,9 - λ - TX(19) Psc.

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