By Nicolas Henderson and Hayden Kelsey
What are Zodiac Constellations?
Sagittarius Dec 18 - Jan 18
Capricornus Jan 19 - Feb 15
Aquarius Feb 16 - Mar 11
Pisces Mar 12 - Apr 18
Aries Apr 19 - May 13
Taurus May 14 - Jun 19
Gemini Jun 20 - Jul 20
Cancer Jul 21 - Aug 9
Leo Aug 10 - Sep 15
Virgo Sep 16 - Oct 30
Libra Oct 31 - Nov 22
Scorpius Nov 23 - Nov 29
Ophiuchus Nov 30 - Dec 17
The Zodiac is the ring of constellations that the Sun seems to pass through each year as the Earth orbits around it. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually 13 zodiacal constellations.
Main Stars in Aquarius
Sadalsuud – β Aquarii (Beta Aquarii)
Sadalsuud is the brightest star in Aquarius. It belongs to a rare class of stars, the yellow supergiants. It has an apparent magnitude of 2.91 and is approximately 610 light years distant. Its name comes from the Arabic phrase sa’d al-suud, meaning the “luck of lucks.” The star is associated with the spring and the good fortune brought by the Sun when it rises after winter has passed.
Sadalsuud has a mass that is six times that of the Sun and is 2,200 times more luminous than the Sun. It is a triple or multiple star. The primary component, Beta Aquarii A, has two optical components, one with a magnitude of 11.0, lying 35.4 arc seconds away, and another with a magnitude of 11.6, 57.2 arc seconds away.
Sadalmelik – α Aquarii (Alpha Aquarii)
Sadalmelik is a G-type (yellow) supergiant, approximately 800 light years distant. It is 3000 times more luminous than the Sun and has an apparent visual magnitude of 2.950.
Its name is derived from the Arabic phrase sa’d al-malik, which means “luck of the king.” Sometimes the star is also called Rucbah, a name it shares with Delta Cassiopeiae.
Skat – δ Aquarii (Delta Aquarii)
Skat, Delta Aquarii, shares its traditional name with Beta Pegasi (Scheat). The name is derived from the Arabic as-saq, which means leg or shin. Skat is the third brightest star in Aquarius.
It is believed to be a member of the Ursa Major Moving Group (Collinder 285), an association of stars that includes the most prominent stars of Ursa Major, that share common velocities and origin.
The star has an apparent magnitude of 3.269 and is approximately 160 light years distant.
Brief History of Astronomy
Copernicus, in the 16th century, was the first to explain the observed looping (retrograde) motion of planets, by replacing a geocentric heliocentric model of the Universe with a heliocentric model. Modern planetary astronomy really began in the 17th century with Kepler, who used Tycho Brahe’s very accurate measurements of the planetary positions to develop his three laws.
Galileo contributed to the development of astronomy by teaching the Copernican view, and by devising a telescope which he used to show Jupiter’s moons as a model for the solar system, among other things.
Newton built on earlier insights with his universal law of gravitation and its fruits: predictions or explanations of Kepler’s laws, the motion of comets, the shape of the Earth, tides, precession of the equinoxes and perturbations in the motion of planets which led to the discovery of Neptune. He also had to invent the mathematics to do this: calculus.
Aquarius is depicted as a young man pouring water (or alternatively, nectar) from an amphora into the mouth of the Southern Fish, represented by the constellation Piscis Austrinus.
Aquarius is usually associated with Ganymede, the son of King Tros, in Greek mythology. Ganymede was a beautiful Trojan youth who caught Zeus’ eye, which prompted the god to disguise himself as an eagle (represented by the constellation Aquilla) and carry him off to Olympus to serve as cup-bearer to the gods. In a different story, the constellation represents Deucalion, son of Prometheus, who survived the great flood along with his wife Pyrrha.
In Babylonian mythology, Aquarius is identified as GU.LA (the great one), the god Ea himself and, in Egyptian tales, the constellation was said to represent the god of the Nile.
Aquarius constellation is located in the southern hemisphere. Its name means “the water-bearer” (or “cup-bearer”) in Latin and its symbol is , which represents water. It is symbolic of the Gods nourishing the earth with life giving energies
Aquarius lies in the region of the sky sometimes referred to as the Sea, because it contains a number of constellations with names related to water; Pisces (the fish), Eridanus (the river), and and Cetus (the whale), among others.
Aquarius Personality Traits
Aquarius possess positive characteristics and personality traits and are often described as:
Negative traits - apt in some circumstances to be:
Lacking in concentration
Apt to dwell on personal slights
Pseudoscience vs. Science, which is astrology?
1. Based on well-established, repeating patterns and regularities in nature.
2. Reproducible results are required of experiments. In case of failure, no excuses are acceptable
3. Personal stories or testimonials are not accepted as evidence.
4. Consistent and interconnected; one part cannot be changed without affecting the whole.
5. Argues from scientific knowledge and from the results of experiments.
6. Convinces by appeal to evidence, by arguments based on logical and/or mathematical reasoning.
1. Focuses, without skepticism, on alleged exceptions, errors, anomalies, and strange events
2. Results cannot be reproduced or verified. Excuses are freely invented to explain the failure of any scientific test.
3. Personal stories or testimonials are relied upon for evidence.
4. Inconsistent and not interconnected; any part can be arbitrarily changed in any way without affecting other parts.
5. Argues from ignorance. The lack of a scientific explanation is used to support ideas.
6. Attempts to persuade by appeal to emotions, faith, sentiment, or distrust of established fact.
Astrology definitely falls in pseudoscience. It relies on personal stories or testimonials are relied upon for evidence, and the results cannot be reproduced or verified. Excuses are freely invented to explain the failure of any scientific test. Basically all the aspects of astrology line up with the facts of what pseudoscience is.
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French, Sue. "A meeting of the waters: Aquarius hosts one great planetary nebula and some fascinating galaxies." Sky & Telescope Nov. 2014: 56+. Science in Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
"Astrology." Astronomy & Space: From the Big Bang to the Big Crunch. Gale, 2007. Science in Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.