Serpens Constellation Myths and Facts

Serpens: The Serpent

Pronunciation: SER-punz
Serpens, The Serpent
Serpens as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1624). Source image provided by — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.
Serpens Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Ser Genitive: Serpentis
Origin: Ancient Location: Celestial Equator
Best View (North): Summer Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Serpens Cauda: Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Scutum, Aquila   Serpens Caput: Corona Borealis, Bootes, Virgo, Libra, Ophiuchus, Hercules

The Myth Behind the Constellation Serpens

Serpens, “The Serpent” is the snake that taught the legendary healer Asclepius (see Ophiuchus) the medicinal powers of plants.  Asclepius once killed a snake, and observed another snake bringing it back to life by placing a plant on it.  The physician used this principal to become skilled in medicine.  When Asclepius was killed, the serpent was placed in the night sky along with him.

Serpens Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Serpens
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
M5 NGC 5904 Globular Cluster Binoculars
Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611 Nebula Binoculars

Bright Stars in Serpens

These are the stars in Serpens with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.
Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Unukalhai Alpha Serpentis 2.63  Orange 84 suns 73 ly