Constellation Ophiuchus


With an area of 948 square degrees, Ophiuchus is an extensive, yet inconspicuous constellation. Although it is connected to the ecliptic, it does not belong to the Signs of the Zodiac. This is because those stars that used to belong to Scorpio in antiquity are now assigned to Ophiuchus.

How to spot Ophiuchus

As in the mythology, the constellation of Ophiuchus is often presented along with the Serpent. It can be seen in both hemispheres and looks like a box, from which the stars of the Serpent emerge west and east. The constellation is located between Hercules and Scorpius.


According to the most famous version of the mythological origin of the constellation, Ophiuchus is equated with the physician Asclepius. The Centaurus Cheiron had trained the son of Apollo to be an excellent doctor. Through studies of a snake, he discovered a way to bring the dead back to life. This displeased the God of the underworld, Hades, who asked his brother Zeus to end the life of Asclepius. Zeus granted Hades this request and had the doctor killed by an arrow from another centaur. To appease Apollo, he put Asklepios as Ophiuchus with the Serpent into the sky.