Serpens

noun

Ser·​pens ˈsər-ˌpenz How to pronounce Serpens (audio)
astronomy
: a northern constellation that is visible in two parts on either side of the constellation Ophiuchus and that is represented by the figure of a serpent in the grasp of a man represented by Ophiuchus

Note: The constellation Serpens is divided into two separate sections, called Serpens Caput (the "head of the serpent") and Serpens Cauda (the "tail of the serpent").

The main object of interest in Serpens Caput is the globular cluster M5, down in the south of the region, near the border with Virgo.Adrian Berry, Daily Telegraph (London), 1 June 2009
Their latest discovery is a double star in the planetary nebula cataloged as Abell 41, located in the constellation Serpens Cauda. These stars orbit each other in only 2 hours and 43 minutes, indicating that they are extremely close together.D. E. Thomsen, Science News, 16 Apr. 1983

Word History

First Known Use

1715, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Serpens was in 1715

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Cite this Entry

“Serpens.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Serpens. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

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