Serpens is a constellation of the northern hemisphere, representing a
serpent. One of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century
astronomer Ptolemy, it remains one of the 88 modern constellations
defined by the International Astronomical Union. It is unique among the
modern constellations in being split into two non-contiguous parts, the
head (Serpens Caput) to the west and the tail (Serpens Cauda) to the
east. Between these two halves lies the constellation of Ophiuchus, the
"Serpent-Bearer", with the body of the serpent passing behind Ophiuchus.
The brightest star in Serpens is the red giant star Alpha Serpentis,
with an apparent magnitude of 2.63. The Eagle Nebula and its associated
cluster (pictured) are located in Serpens, as is the nearby star-forming
region Westerhout 40. Extragalactic objects in Serpens include Seyfert's
Sextet, one of the densest galaxy clusters known; Arp 220, the
prototypical ultraluminous infrared galaxy; and Hoag's Object, the most
famed of the rare ring galaxies.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpens>
Today's selected anniversaries:
After the assassination of Aurelian, Tacitus was chosen by the
Senate to succeed him as Roman emperor.
Peking opera (performer pictured) was born when the Four Great
Anhui Troupes introduced Anhui opera to Beijing in honor of the Qianlong
Emperor's eightieth birthday.
An explosion of badly degraded propellant charges on board the
French battleship Liberté detonated the forward ammunition magazines
and destroyed the ship.
Unrest and frustration amongst many indigenous Mozambican
populations against Portuguese rule erupted in a war for independence
that lasted ten years.
In one of the largest prison escapes in British history, 38
Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners hijacked a prison meals
lorry and smashed their way out of HM Prison Maze in County Antrim,
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. A separation or division into two; a distinction that results in such a
2. (astronomy) A phase of the moon when it appears half lit and half dark,
as at the quadratures. […]
3. (biology) A fork (bifurcation) in a stem or vein.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The past is never dead. It's not even past.
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