Piscis Austrinus


Piscis Austrinus


English nameAustral Fish

Major
stars
alpha Piscis AustriniFomalhautmagn. 1,2RA: 22h 57m 39.01sDec: -29 37' 19.7"

DescriptionSmall constellation of the southern sky, situated to the south of Aquarius.

It contains only one bright heavenly object, Fomalhaut (from Arab, "mouth of the fish"), a white-blue star about 22 light-years away. There are then some double stars, among which beta Piscis Austrini, easy to be observed, and gamma Piscis Austrini, more difficult to be separated.


Mythology
and history
Eratostenes tells that the Syrian goddess Derceto fell into a lake, where she ran the risk of drowning. But a big fish intervened and brought her to shore: to thank her saver, the goddess the made it sacred and put it among the constellations. For this reason, Hyginus adds, the Syrians never eat any fish, thinking that it is just like a god.


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