The lovely group of Serpens can be found directly underneath, and to the west of Hercules, where the pointed head of four stars is an easy indicator to the rest of the constellation. Serpens "The Snake" is actually two constellations, Serpens Caput being the head of the snake and Serpens Cauda the tail. On ancient star maps the whole constellation winds through the stars of Ophiuchus "The Serpent Bearer", depicting the writhing snake that twists and turns in his arms. Originally, it was meant to represent medicinal use, but its representation has since been corrupted so that it resembles the dragon of the Draco legend or, as early Christians thought it, the serpent that seduced Eve and led to man’s downfall.

Notable Objects

Messier 16 and Messier 17 the Eagle and Omega nebulae respectively