Aries Constellation: Myths And Facts

Aries is also called The Ram, Ari, Arietis and it is a medium sized constellation in the northern skin. It also lies in the barren parts. It is mostly having inconspicuous stars which are faint and there is to the east Turus at its border, Triangulum and Perseus lies to the north and to the south is Cetus and Pisces to the west.  Aries is one of the original among the 48 constellations which were plotted by an astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century and till date remains as one of the 88 constellations. These 88 constellations are defined by the international astronomical unit.  There are many bright stars in the constellation.

Introduction to Aries constellation

Aries represents The Golden Ram in the Greek mythology that was sent to rescue Helle and Phrixos. The two were the children of the Boeotia King Athamus from his first wife Nephele.  The second wife of the king desperately wanted the children whose name was Ino and was resentful.  She also wanted to kill the boy. She induced famine in the entire kingdom and then spread a falsified message, saying that the phrixos needs to sacrifice to protect the land.  Athamus believed his second wife and was about to kill the child when Aries arrived who was sent by Nephele. Aries rescued the boy, but Helle died. There are several other myths.

Chinese knew Aries as dog and ribs as sheep.  There is a 2nd magnitude star in the constellation, 1/3rd, 3/4th and dozens in the 5th magnitude of the stars. There are no messier objects nearby and no deep sky objects as well.  But there are many faint galaxies in its boundaries, which are in the range of the large and medium size amateur scopes.  For smaller ones there are few double stars as well as bright stars.

Interesting stars

The brightest stars of Aries constellation is,

Hamal which is at the magnitude of +2.01 which is the bright of the all. It is a K2 size orange giant star. It is so huge that it is twice the size of the sun and is at the distance of 66 light years. The range of the star is considerable small, but is variable.

Sheratan is the second brightest star in the Aries constellation and is located at the distance of 56.6 light years. A5V is the primary star and it completes its elliptical orbit in 107 days. The second star is spectral type and is fainter.

Double stars

Lambda is located at the 2 degrees west of the Hamal.  Its primary star is white and the secondary is yellow.  It can be viewed with the 7×50 binoculars, but to make the task easy 10×50 model will do the best.

Epsilon having 4 bright stars and they shine at 4.6 magnitude and separated with just 1.4 arc second.  100mm aperture might split them, but steady transparency is required in the night sky. To get the job done perfectly to see epsilon in the sky 200x is going to suffice.

Mesartim or Gamma seems to be a striking double star that is comprised of equally bright components that are white and blue in color. It has a separation of 7.6 arc seconds. The 2 stars are resolvable with the scope of any size and are broadly considered to be one of the handsomest equal pairs. If we talk about the united magnitude, then it is +3.9 and they reside about 160 light years away from the Earth.

33 Arietis comprises of a primary pure white star having a magnitude of +5.4 along with the magnitude of +8.4 companion that is detached by 24 arc seconds. Having a combined magnitude of plus 5.3, this star is visible to the naked eye. This star has a small scope 80mm at about 50 times magnification that will simply split the pair.

30 Arietis

It is having a 6th magnitude that is widely double for shorter scopes. Both of the stars have a white color. By having a separation of 38 arc seconds, it can be resolved in any scope of the size. The major component is too a spectroscopic two times itself and hence, it is known as a 3-star system.

There are a lot of faint stars surrounding another star of this constellation that is 41 Arietis. This is why it has become one of the multiple stars of the constellation.

Variable stars

R Arietis is another type of Mira that is considered to be variable that is 4100 light years from the Earth. It has a variation of the magnitude between +7.4 and +13.7 more than 187 days.

U Arietis belongs to the Mira type star that is the variable one that it varies between the magnitude of +7.2 and +15.2 over a period of 371 days. It is situated 1630 light years away.

SX Arietis is an uncommon star that has a value and it is mentionable. It differs in brightness by just 0.1 magnitudes over a period of around one day. The reason why it has become one of the interesting stars is that it is a rotating helium variable prototype and star of its class.

Along with that, the Aries has a wide range of deep sky objects that include the Galaxies as well. NGC is one of the brightest and largest of the galaxies in Aries. Locating this galaxy is a quite easier thing. This galaxy has a position of 2 degrees to the east and southeast of Mesartim. Other than this galaxy, there are NGC 1156, NGC 770, NGC 972, NGC 821, NGC 877, NGC 680, and NGC 678.

Meteor showers are also present in this constellation. It is also home to many meteor showers that involve the Daytime Arietids. It is one of the sturdiest showers that take place throughout the day and will last from 22nd May to 2nd July. It is peak on 7th June that is around 50 meteors for every hour and it can be detected utilizing radar techniques.