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Ophiuchus - the Healer


Mythology - Ophiuchus actually represents Aesclepius the father of medicine. Apollo's wife, Coronius, was unfaithful to him. When he found out he killed her and removed the child Aesclepius from her womb. This child grew up at the hands of Chiron the centaur where he learnt medecine. Aesclepius became the greatest surgeon and healer of his time and learned to mix medicines from the poisons of snakes and plants. One of his mixtures caused the recently deceased to rise from the realm of Hades infuriating the god of the dead. Hades asked Zeus to stop Aesclepius and he was struck down with a thunderbolt. In pity Zeus restored him to life making him an immortal. He was placed in the sky with a serpent as representative of his pharmaceutical talents. The caduceus (wand entwined with serpents) is his symbol and also the symbol of the many medical institutions (e.g. British Medical Association)
Deepsky - There are many clusters in this area of sky. Ophiuchus plays host to five binocular globular clusters: M10, M12, M9, M107 and M14. The galactic cluster IC4665 is a good binocular object above Cebelrai, the shoulder of Ophiuchus.
Visibility - Ophiuchus is visible for most of Summer, but is best seen from July to September