English nameArrow

No star of the constellation exceeds the magnitude 3,5.

DescriptionSmall constellation to the north of Aquila: its shape is clearly an arrow. It is the third among the constellations of small dimensions (after Crux and Equuleus).

M71It doesn't contain any particular stars. Interesting is instead M71 a globular cluster of seventh magnitude, easily visible with binoculars and small telescopes: according to some astronomers' opinion it is not a globular cluster, but a particularly rich open cluster.

and history
The ancient authors tell at least three versions about this small constellation.

According to Eratostenes, it is the arrow used by Apollo to kill the Cyclops that manufactured the thunderbolt with which Zeus struck to death his son Aesculapius (see the mythology of Ophiuchus).

For Hyginus, instead, it is the arrow with which Hercules killed the eagle that tormented Prometheus. This last, since he gave the fire to the men, was punished by Zeus in this way: he was chained on the Caucasus, where every day an eagle devoured his liver, that because of its immortality grew again during the night.

Caesar Germanicus, finally, thinks that it is the arrow used by Eros, god of love, to kindle in Zeus the passion for Ganymede (see the mythology of Aquarius).

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