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Scorpius (skôrˈpēəs) [key] or Scorpio –pēō [Lat., = the scorpion], conspicuous southern constellation lying on the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Sagittarius and Libra; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Scorpius contains the bright stars Antares (Alpha Scorpii) and Shaula (Lambda Scorpii); a recurrent nova that flared up in 1863, 1906, and 1936; and Scorpius XR-1, the strongest X-ray source in the sky. The constellation reaches its highest point in the evening sky in July.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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