The International Astronomical Union described the Aquarius Constellation as a broad group of stars resembling a “water bearer”. In astronomical history records, Aquarius is one of the oldest constellations among 88 well-recognized constellations.
As one of the 12 zodiacal constellations, Aquarius covers almost 980 square degrees. In the Southern Hemisphere, Aquarius Constellation lies between +65 degree and -90 degree latitudes. The neighbouring constellations surrounding Aquarius are Aquila, Cetus, Delphinus, Equuleus, Capricornus, Pisces, etc.
Significant Facts of Aquarius Constellation:
Aquarius Constellation is associated with the mythological story of a young shepherd boy - Ganymede, the son of Tros, the ruler of Dardania. Zeus, the Greek God, sent his mighty divine Eagle - Aquila, to kidnap Ganymede while he was looking after his sheep. Zeus ordered Ganymede to serve the Gods in Olympus as a cupbearer. Ganymede was assigned to keep the wine cups full for the Gods. Thus, the celestial figure of the cup-bearer represents the Aquarius constellation.
● Thirteen billion years old globular cluster Messier 2 in the Aquarius Constellation accommodates 150,000 stars. M2, also known as NGC 7089, lies 37,500 lightyears away from Earth. Most of the brightest components in Messier 2 are yellow-red coloured giant stars. In 1746, the well-known astronomer in Italy, Jean-Dominique Maraldi, discovered Messier 2.
● Messier 72 is another prominent globular cluster in the Aquarius Constellation. M72 or NGC 6981 lies almost 53000 light years away from the Earth. This globular cluster accommodates Blue stars, mainly in the RR Lyrae category. In 1780, the well-known astronomer in France Pierre Mechain discovered Messier 72.
● Messier 73 is a prominent Asterism in Aquarius Constellation. Asterism M73 or NGC 6994 is the collection of four stars close to each other but not associated. In 1780, Messier 73 was discovered as an Asterism by Charles Messier.M73 is located approx 2500 light years away from our Earth.
● Saturn Nebula is another prominent deep-sky object in the Aquarius Constellation. In the 18th century, a well-known British astronomer discovered Saturn Nebula, which appears in the West of Nu Aquarii. As a prominent planetary nebula, Saturn Nebula contains a white dwarf with the utmost brightness level. The luminous star of Saturn Nebula appears with 11.5 magnitudes and 55,000 Kelvin temperature in the central point of it.
● In the 19th century, well-known German astronomer - Helix Nebula discovered the massive and closest planetary nebula, which lies 700 light years away from the Earth. Due to the distinct range of size and utmost luminosity, Helix Nebula is called with the Nickname - The Eye of God. Helix Nebula appeared to the West of Upsilon Aquarii.
● Aquarius Dwarf is a prominent member of the local galaxies in Aquarius Constellation. It appears with 14.0 magnitude luminosity approx 3.1 million light years away from the Earth.
Major Stars in Aquarius Constellation:
● Beta Aquarii or Sadalsuud
The expansion of Beta Aquarii is 48 times more than the radius of the Sun. As a yellow G-type star, Beta Aquarri appears with 2.87 magnitude luminosity and 5700 Kelvin surface temperature. Beta Aquarii belongs to the G0 IB spectral class and lies 538.2 light years away from the Earth.
● Alpha Aquarii or Sadalmelik
The yellow giant star in the Aquarius Constellation, Alpha Aquarii, is Sadalmelik. After Beta Aquarri, it is the 2nd brightest star in the Aquarius Constellation. Alpha Aquarii belongs to spectral class G2 IB. Sadalmelik lies almost 525.1 lightyears away from the Earth. With a 2.942 magnitude range, Alpha Aquarii is visible in the night sky.
● Delta Aquarii or Skat
The 3rd brightest star in the Aquarius Constellation is Delta Aquarii. 3.3 magnitude range makes Delta Aquarii visible to the naked eye in the night sky. Delta Aquarii belongs to the A3 Vp class. The Blue-white combination makes this star a prominent sequence star. In the central zone, due to nuclear fusion of H2 molecules, Delta Aquarii generates plenty of energy.
● Gamma Aquarri or Sadachbia
Gamma Aquarii is considered as a binary star system in the Aquarius Constellation. The apparent visual magnitude range of 3.849 makes Gamma Aquarii one of the luminous members of the Aquarius Constellation. Gamma Aquarii lies almost 163.1 light years away from the Earth.
● Epsilon Aquarii
Epsilon Aquarii appears as a main sequence A1 V Steller category star in the equatorial range of the Aquarius Constellation. Epsilon Aquarii is a 388 million years old star.
Other prominent stars in the Aquarius Constellation are Kappa Aquarii or Situla, Theta Aquarii or Ancha, Xi Aquarii or Bunda.
Astrological Significance of Aquarius Constellation:
The mythological tale of Prometheus connects the insights of Aquarian natives. According to mythology, Prometheus was a God who made man in a similar shape to the Gods after the creation of animals. Prometheus thought Man should get a special gift, while the animals already had feathers, wings, strength, speed, etc. Then Prometheus stole some fire from the Mountain Olympus, where the God Goddess resides, giving Mankind fire. But for stealing fire, Jupiter punished Prometheus. Prometheus was chained with a giant rock and a giant eagle every day ate brutally his Liver, which grew back every night. As Prometheus was a God, he could not die. So, Jupiter arranged never-ending torment for Prometheus.
The western astrology claims the characteristics of Prometheus influenced the temperament of Aquarians. The Aquarius people prefer to struggle for the shake of human rights. Prometheus chose to enhance human power over the order of monarchy. Similarly, Aquarius people support human activism to protect the power of democracy.
The entire discussion on Aquarius Constellation enlists the prominent stars and deep-sky objects as the astronomers can define the characteristics of Aquarius Zodical Traits based on meticulous calculations.