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Rabu, 09 April 2008

Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer)

Abbreviation: Oph
Genitive: Ophiuchi
Right Ascension: 17.18 hours
Declination: -4.24 degrees

Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, is best seen in summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ophiuchus vel Serpentarius, the Serpent Holder, is generally identified with Aesculapius a physician who was later made a god. Serpents were always associated with physicians as symbols of prudence, renovation, wisdom, and the power of discovering healing herbs. The modern symbol for medicine derives from this.

Aesculapius was the earliest of his professions trained by a centaur Chiron and the ships surgeon of the Argo. He was so skilled in his profession he could bring the dead back to life. After many successful operations and numerous remarkable cures, Pluto fearful that his dominion would vanish, convinced Zeus to strike Aesculapius with a thunderbolt and transfer him to the stars.


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