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Ophiuchus Constellation
Constellation Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer Star Map

Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer (Oph)


The Southern constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, is best viewed in Summer during the month of July.

Ophiuchus is the 11th largest constellation. It's brightest star is Rasalhague at magnitude 2.08. The boundary of the Ophiuchus constellation contains 19 stars that host known exoplanets.

Ophiuchus is an equatorial constellation, which means its bulk intersects the celestial equator or comes within 10-15 degrees of doing so. Ophiuchus is visible from most places on Earth.

Barnard's Star is the 2nd closest star to Earth at 5.96 light years.

      1. Pronunciation:
      2. OFF-ee-YOO-kus
      1. Meaning:
      2. Serpent Bearer
      1. Genitive:
      2. Ophiuchi
      1. Abbreviation:
      2. Oph
      1. Constellation Family:
      2. Hercules
      1. Hemisphere:
      2. Southern
      1. Quadrant:
      2. SQ3
      1. Visibility:
      2. 80° N - 80° S
      1. Best viewing month*:
      2. July
      1. Area:
      2. 948 sq. degrees
      1. Size:
      2. 11th largest
      1. Equatorial:
      2. Yes
      1. Right Ascension (avg):
      2. 17h 2m
      1. Declination (avg):
      2. -5°
      1. Brightest star:
      2. Rasalhague  (2.08)
      1. Stars with planets:
      2. 19

    Brightest Stars in Ophiuchus

    The 10 brightest stars in the constellation Ophiuchus by magnitude.

        1. Star
        2. Magnitude
        3. Spectral class

      Double Stars in Ophiuchus

      These are the brightest and easiest-to-find double, triple, and quadruple star systems in the constellation Ophiuchus . Also see all star clusters.

          1. Star system
          2. Magnitudes
          3. Type
          1. 36 Ophiuchi
          2. 5.1, 5.1
          3. double
          1. Omicron Ophiuchi
          2. 5.2, 6.6
          3. double
          1. 70 Ophiuchi
          2. 4.2, 6.2
          3. double

        Star Clusters in Ophiuchus

        The most notable and easy-to-find star clusters in the constellation Ophiuchus . Also see all star clusters.

            1. Star cluster
            2. Catalog #
            3. Cluster type

          Nebulae in Ophiuchus

          Notable and easy-to-find nebulae in the constellation Ophiuchus . Also see all nebulae.

              1. Nebula name
              2. Catalog #
              3. Nebula type

            Black Holes in Ophiuchus

            These are the most well-known smaller (non-supermassive) black holes in the constellation Ophiuchus. Although black holes cannot be seen directly, the smaller ones are at the center of some star clusters and supernova remnant nebulae, which can be seen. Supermassive black holes are at the center of most galaxies, such as Sagittarius A* at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Also see all black holes.

                1. Black hole
                2. Type
                1. Great Annihilator
                2. intermediate

              The Cosmic Serpent-Bearer

              Ophiuchus, Latin for 'Serpent-Bearer', is a large and notable constellation located around the celestial equator. The constellation is best known for its unique shape, which is reminiscent of a man holding a snake, and for its location along the ecliptic path, making it one of the 13 constellations that the Sun passes through during the year.

              Historical Overview

              Ophiuchus is associated with various figures from ancient myths, often healers or physicians, due to the association of serpents with healing. The most common association is with Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. According to legend, Asclepius learned the secrets of life and death from a snake, a creature considered sacred and a symbol of regeneration.

              Location and Main Features

              Found in the third quadrant of the Northern Hemisphere (NQ3), Ophiuchus can be seen at latitudes between +80? and -80?. It is surrounded by Serpens to the west, Hercules to the north, Scorpius to the south, and Sagittarius to the east. With an area of 948 square degrees, it ranks 11th in terms of size among the 88 recognized constellations.

              Main Stars in Ophiuchus

              Ophiuchus is home to many bright stars, the most notable of which is Rasalhague (? Ophiuchi), a binary star system with an apparent magnitude of 2.07, making it the brightest star in Ophiuchus. The primary component of Rasalhague is a rapidly rotating white giant star, while the secondary component is a faint dwarf star.

              Besides Rasalhague, the constellation also contains several other notable stars, such as Cebalrai (Beta Ophiuchi), a giant orange star, and Sabik (Eta Ophiuchi), a white star known for its relatively high rotation speed.

              Deep Sky Objects

              Ophiuchus contains a rich assortment of deep sky objects, including several globular clusters like Messier 9, Messier 10, Messier 12, and Messier 14. It also contains the Dark Horse Nebula, a large and complex area of dark nebulosity.


              Being located along the ecliptic path, Ophiuchus is a prominent constellation that can be viewed from most locations on Earth, particularly between April and October. Despite this, it is often overlooked due to its proximity to the constellation Scorpius, which contains Antares, one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

              * Constellation shown for northen hemisphere skies. For the southern hemisphere, constellations appear rotated 180 degrees (upside-down and left-right reversed) from what is shown. Remember that seasons are reversed too - summer in northern latitudes is winter in southern latitudes.

              ** Circumpolar constellations are visible year-round in the hemisphere listed (and not at all in the opposite hemisphere).