Find Antares and the Scorpius Constellation (Scorpio)

Image taken from Myth

Scorpius is a pretty easy constellation to find in the summer sky. The reason it is easy is because of the presence of one of the brightest stars in the night sky, Antares. The main problem with finding Scorpius is that there is not a good “anchor point.” In other words, it’s not next to something extremely recognizable like the Big Dipper or Orion. In addition, Scorpius is technically a southern hemisphere constellation. That means it is visible only at certain times of the year, and primarily in the southern sky.

Image from Wikipedia

To find Scorpius (in the Western US, where I live), you must have a clear view to the south. It must be summer–preferably July or August. Scorpius rises early and skitters across the southern horizon. Look for one of the brightest stars in the sky, Antares. This is my favorite constellation because it actually looks like a scorpion. You say to yourself, “Wow, Antares is the body, the claw out to the right, and the hook-shaped body below.” It’s nearly impossible to mistake something else for Scorpius. You’ll know it when you see it.

This is what Scorpio looks like facing south.
Image created by Bob Moler using Stellarium.

Additionally, Scorpius is a good anchor point. If you find it, you can easily find Sagittarius, and the Serpent.
Check out some of the other constellations that can be seen in our night sky:

Find Pegasus
Find Draco
Find Andromeda
Find Perseus (coming soon)

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