Constellation Aries

 

The Aries constellation is one of the Signs of the Zodiac in the northern hemisphere. It is relatively small, but has a distinctive structure that makes it easy to spot.

How to spot Aries

It covers an area of 441 square meters and contains four stars with known planets: The brighter stars α (Hamal), β (Sheratan) and γ (Mesarthim) form a curved line. It lies between the Triangle, Perseus, Taurus and Pisces and can best be observed in autumn.

Mythology

According to Greek mythology, King Athamas named his oldest son Phrixus as the successor to his throne. However, the King’s wife at that time, Phrixus’ stepmother, wanted her own son in his place. So she turned to deceit: She allowed the seeds for the following year to rot, causing a bad harvest. A manipulated oracle told the King that he could only avoid more bad harvests in the future if he were to sacrifice his son, Phrixus. Unhappily, he followed the oracle’s will, but at the moment of execution, a ram with a golden fleece sprang forth to save Phrixus. Upon the ram’s request to sacrifice itself in stead of the King’s son, they were able to avoid a famine. The ram was placed among the stars for his feat of heroism.

Interesting Facts

The earliest recognizable reference to the constellation Aries as an independent constellation existed already in the years 1350 to 1000 BC. On several stones the zodiac sign of Aries was found.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, the Aries was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was portrayed as a man with a ram's head. This symbol represented the characteristics fertility and creativity. It was often identified as an indicator of the annual rebirth of the sun because it was especially visible in spring.