The Constellation Directory


"The Scorpion"


By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Abbreviation: Sco
Genitive: Scorpii
Constellation family: Zodiac
Nearest constellations: Ara, Corona Australis, Libra, Lupus, Norma, Ophiuchus, and Sagittarius
Right ascension: 16.99h
Declination: -37.17°
Visible between latitudes: +40° and -90°
Square degrees: 497
Luminary: Antares (Alpha Scorpii)
Named stars: Antares, Graffias, Dschubba, Sargas, Shaula, Jabbah, Al Niyat, Lesath
Notable deep sky objects: M4, M6, M7, M80, NGC 6231, NGC 6302 (Butterfly Nebula)


Scorpius is a distinctive constellation in the Southern Hemisphere, easily distinguishable by its curved "fish hook" shape. The constellation is best seen in July.

Scorpius contains two very bright stars: Antares (Alpha Scorpii) is the sixteenth-brightest star in the night sky, and Shaula (Lambda Scorpii) is the twenty fifth-brightest.

Scorpius by Alexander Jamieson

By Alexander Jamieson (United States Naval Observatory Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Scorpius is one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac.


In Greek mythology, Scorpius is often associated with Orion, the hunter. While the goddess of the hunt (Artemis or Diana, depending on whether the Greek or Roman name is used) is sometimes cited as the cause of Orion's death, Scorpius is mentioned by some sources as having attacked the hunter and killed him with its bite.

Due to the conflict between Scorpius and Orion, they were placed in the sky at opposite ends: when one is visible in the sky, the other is not, and vice versa.