Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The Water Bearer, in Greek mythology, is a zodiacal constellation, meaning that the path of the Sun and planets passes through it. (The Sun actually passes through 13 of the modern constellations each year, not the traditional 12.) It is almost entirely south of the celestial equator; none of its stars is especially bright (see illustration). Early constellation drawings show Aquarius as a man or boy pouring water from a bucket. The stream of water is oriented so as to flow into Piscis Austrinus, the constellation of the Southern Fish, pointing at the bright star Fomalhaut, which can be taken to correspond to the mouth of the fish. The constellation may have gotten its name from the Sun's position in it during the often-rainy month of February, which often led to floods in Babylonia and Egypt. The modern boundaries of the 88 constellations, including this one, were defined by the International Astronomical Union in 1928. See also: Constellation; Zodiac
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information