Aquarius the water bearer may have this association with water because the Sun used to pass through it during the rainy season. References to it being associated with water go back to Babylonian times. It is surrounded by other watery constellations, Delphinus, Cetus, Capricornus, Eridanus and others. The traditional figure is seen as a man pouring water from a jar. It has also been shown as a large jar or urn from which water pours.

Babylonians associated the water bearer with the 11th month, Shabatu, the Curse of Rain which was their January and February. The Romans did not see the constellation associated with water, but called it the Peacock, symbol of Juno.

For the Observer

The Stars of Summer

M2 (NGC 7089) ( 21h 30m .9 -1° 03') is a nice globular cluster and looks impressive in even a 4 inch telescope. Streams of stars seem to pour out of the cluster. It is quite easy to find, forming a triangle with the alpha and beta stars.

NGC7009( 21h 01m .4 -11° 34') is a planetary nebula that was discovered by Herschel in 1782. It is sometimes called the saturn nebula.

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Kathy Miles, Author, and Chuck Peters, Systems Administrator