The constellation of Scorpio

Zeus placed Scorpio (also called Scorpius) at the opposite side of the sky circle to Orion, so that they can never again meet. Although Orion was important he was never chosen as one of the 12 signs of the zodiac, but Scorpio was.

The Scorpion is only visible from UK latitudes in the summer, and it is so low in the sky that the tail and sting of the Scorpion are lost below the southern horizon.

Scorpio is one of the oldest and brightest of all constellations. It used to be a lot larger but the part representing the scorpion’s claws now belongs to Libra.

The chief star in the constellation Scorpio is Antares. The name in Greek means 'rival of Mars', because of its red colour which makes it seem like the planet Mars.

Scorpio contains several sets of double (binary) stars. It also contains RR Scorpii, a variable star which gets brighter and dimmer and brighter again over a period of 281 days.