About Pisces

Pisces is one of the 13 zodiac constellations. When trying to locate this constellation in the sky one can use a right ascension of 1h and a declination of +15 degrees. The constellation consists of 21 total stars, 10 of which have their own planets. Pisces, whose root name was from the Latin plural form for the word fish, and it is from this definition that one is given clues about the shape that the constellation forms. Pisces in terms of physical features is one of the oldest and largest, and also one of the most difficult to see. The constellation is known as being located in the sea or water part of the sky, southeast of Pegasus and in between Aquarius and Aries. The ecliptic and celestial equator of Pisces intersects with the constellation of Virgo. Pisces contains the Vernal equinox. In addition, the constellation can be credited with containing Van Maanen’s Star (third closest white dwarf star to the sun with a magnitude of 12.36) and an entire galaxy (spiral galaxy Messier 74). Pisces is visible a latitudes between +90 degrees and -65 degrees. Pisces can often be seen, but is most visible at 9:00 p.m. during the month of November.

Pisces has a peculiar, almost V-like shape that doesn’t seem to look anything like fish to the untrained eye. Pisces is not a constellation depicting one fish; instead it is actually two fish. This odd image finds its roots in Greek mythology. The constellation is generally depicted in many historic and ancient documents as two fish that are tied together by a string at the bottom end tail of each. This image relates to the story of the Greek goddess Aphrodite and her son Eros that transformed into fish in order to escape the fire god Typhon. The two fish were tied together to insure that they did not lose each other in the escape. The mythology explains that the constellation Pisces was placed in the sky by the gods to honor Aphrodite and Eros being saved. Oddly enough, another culture also discovered the Pisces constellation and saw the image of fish. The Babylonians saw the constellations as two fish swimming into converging streams of water. The meaning of this constellation for the Babylonians was a representation of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which were large landmarks on the Mesopotamia map. The constellation was also identified by the Mayans, but was seen as a bat instead of fish.

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