Serpens is a constellation that is connected physically with Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. Ophiuchus was a famous healer and the serpent coils around his head and shoulders. Serpens Caput is the head of the serpent, while serpens cauda is the tail. The tail lies in the Milky Way a little south of the bright star Altair in Aquilla. The neck and head of the serpent go up over Ophiuchus in the direction of Corona Borealis. The head is marked by a small compact triangle of stars. Although the constellation is dim, it holds the distinction of being at least partly visible from anywhere on Earth.

Serpens is best known in relation to the healer Aexculapius, represented by Ophiuchus. The power of medicine is represented by the serpen's venom which can kill or cure depending on how it is used.

Check here for the myth of Ophiuchus and Serpens and a star map with telescope objects for both constellations.

For the Observer

Sky Chart of North Circumpolar Stars

Also see Ophiuchus

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