Large And Faint Constellation, Pisces

Pisces is the large and the faint constellation that have no bright stars. It is completely visible in the areas that are away from the light pollution. It is visible in both southern and northern hemispheres. In the northern hemisphere, it can be seen from the month of august to January. Basically, the Pisces known as fish is one of the zodiac constellation which is shaped for symbolizing the two fishes tied together with rope, while it is 14th constellation in night sky and still a kind of challenge for spotting in night sky with brightest stars, the Eta Piscium, which is the faint yellow and giant one located around the 294 light year distant with visual magnitude of around +3.62.

Best viewed

The constellation as Pisces is commonly associated with the Aphrodite known as Venus and sons called Eros, known as the cupid that transformed them into the fish for escaping terrifying giant Typhon. This immortal monster has also been sent by the Gaia for punishing gods to defeat predecessors, Titans and story goes which before turning themselves into the fish and tied each other to rope piece at all end so that they could not lose one other in turbulence of water.  In southern hemisphere the Pisces can also be viewed in month of the spring, it will appear the upside down in comparison as how it appears in Northern Hemisphere.

Recognized Constellation

The Pisces is not home to any of the notable deep sky object but is most interesting object as the M74, which is the spiral galaxy that has some 30 million of light years from the Earth that is visible faintly through telescope. In Latin the Pisces stands for fishes. It is also one of these 12 signs of astrological zodiac. It is recognized as the constellation for around 3000 years and although ancient Babylonians that are associated it with swallow bird. Although, this constellation is even located in northern sky, it’s bisected by ecliptic, which means that it is also visible from both the hemisphere at the different times in year.


From northern hemisphere, the Pisces is also best seen in the autumn and in southern hemisphere in the spring. The ancient Greeks even welcomed Pisces as the sign to improve weather as two fish, one sees end of the winter and other is beginning of spring. Mainly this constellation is based on one tale from the Greek mythology and it involves 3 major characters. Firstly, one can have the Typhon, son of earth goddess Gaia. The Typhon was gigantic monster that was tall & wide as mountains with head of hundred dragons. The Typhon can also breathe fire from many eyes and even capable of the destruction on massive scale, it was most feared and fierce monster in the mythologne of Greek day Gaia that order Typhon for destroying the Olympus, the home of Gods.

On approach to the Olympus, Gods started fleeing including 2 characters in tale, the Aphrodite which is the goddess of beauty and the son, who was God of Love named as Eros.  After reaching bank of the river, both Eros and Aphrodite tied rope on one another and then turn themselves into the fish, prior leaping into water. The rope also prevented them from getting separate as eventually swam for safety. For celebrating the event, figure of these two fish were placed later amongst the stars.

Main stars in constellation of Pisces

Eta Piscium: it is the yellow color giant star which is around 300 light years from the earth. It is also around 26 times wider in the radius than sun and 4 times of its mass. It is called as brightest star in constellation, even though the apparent magnitude of around 3.62.

Alrisha: it is also called as the Alpha Piscium, the Alrisha is binary star system which includes the 2 blue white main sequence stars and 2 stars are separated by distance of 11 billion miles and takes around 700 years to the orbit one another, the system of alpha piscium is also around 140 light years from the Earth.

Omega Piscium: it is yellow white color of main sequence star around the 100 light years from the Earth with twice mass of sun.

Gamma Piscium: it is the yellow color giant star that is around 140 light years from the earth; it is having same mass as sun but is ten times larger in the radius.

Finding Pisces in the Northern Hemisphere

There is a chart which shows its position over the United States in the January at 9pm. This can also be applied on other areas of Northern Hemisphere as the Canada, Europe and UK. You will need the dark skies that are away from the light pollution for fully viewing this constellation. In the month of September and august, it appear low in Eastern Horizon around 11 at night but by around 3 am it turns high in southern night sky prior moving off toward western horizon. In the month of October, it appears low in eastern horizon around 8 at night but by the midnight it is high in southern night sky which continues toward western horizon until the day break.

In the month of November, it is visible in eastern night sky from 7pm around and at 10 at night; it is high in southern night sky and starts dipping below western horizon at 3am. In the December & January, the Pisces appear first high in southern sky around 6 to 7 in evening, around midnight it began dipping below western horizon.

Shape as V

The Pisces is in the 14th largest constellations which take up area of around 88n square degree in northern sky. In the terms of the shape, this constellation appears like large “V” with circle of the stars on every end of “V”. This base of V is said for representing cord which ties fish together and is formed by star called as Alrescha.


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