1. 14th Biggest Star Constellation
Named after Latin’s plural word for fish, Pisces is a star constellation that spreads 889 square degrees to rank it as the 14th largest star constellation. Despite its large size, the stars in this constellation are quite faint with none of them being as bright as the fourth magnitude. This makes it difficult to view the constellation with naked eyes.
2. Northern Hemisphere Quadrant
The first quadrant of Pisces is found on the Northern Hemisphere. On this region, the constellation spreads over a huge V-shaped area and its dim stars coupled with the extensive area makes it difficult to see in the night sky. The best time to observe the Northern Hemisphere Quadrant clearly is during the early autumn season. For best view, observers need to use a 0.85 hour right ascension and 11.08 degree declination. The constellation is visible between -65 degrees and 90 degrees latitudes between 6th and 9th November at 9 pm.
3. Location of Pisces
Pisces constellation is located on the northern sky between Aquarius on the west and Aries constellations on the east. It borders Triangulum, Pegasus, Andromeda and Aries constellations. It is among the zodiac constellations that were catalogued originally in the second century by Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer.
4. Spotting Pisces
One of the most effective ways of identifying Pisces is to locate the Pisces’ Circlet. This Circlet is also referred to as the Western Fish and can be seen on the southern side of the Square of Pegasus. Observers can trace The Eastern Fish that tends to leap upwards towards the eastern side of the Square of Pegasus.
5. The Vernal Equinox runs through Pisces
Vernal Equinox refers to the point where the sun crosses equator as it moves towards the Northern Hemisphere every year. Previously, the vernal equinox ran through the Aries constellation. That has shifted and currently, the vernal equinox no longer runs through Aries, rather it runs through the Pisces.
6. Pisces’ Brightest Star
The brightest star in Pisces is called Eta Piscium. Its other names are Kullat Nunu and Alpherg. Eta Piscum is a huge bright star categorized as a class G and is located 294 light years from planet earth. Compared to the sun, this star’s luminosity is 316 times brighter.
7. The Second and Third Brightest Stars on Pisces
The yellow giant star called Gamma Piscium is Pisces constellation’s 2nd brightest star. Gamma Piscium is located 130 light years away from planet Earth. This star is followed by Alpha Piscium which comprises a pair of dwarf white stars located closely together. Alpha Piscium is also referred to as Alrescha, meaning ‘cord’ because it illuminates the area where it appears such that the tails of two fish appear knotted together.
8. Deep Sky Objects in Pisces
Pisces constellation features several interesting sky objects. They include galaxies, star clusters and nebulae discovered by Charles Messier, a French astronomer in the 18th century. The Messier 74 spiral galaxy is located between Eta Piscium and Alpha Arietis stars. Pisces constellation also has the double radio, colliding pair and dwarf galaxies. Pisces also has 10 stars with planets that are known and the Piscids meteor shower is associated with this constellation.
9. Home to Van Maanen Star
The Van Maneem star is located in Pisces. This white dwarf star is the 31st nearest star system and closest to the sun at about 14.1 light years. The Van Maanen star was discovered by a Dutch astronomer, Adrian van Maanen in 1917.
10. Pisces Mythology
Pisces represents Cupid and Venus who changed themselves into fish so as to escape the Typhon monster in the Roman mythology.