Welcome to my page of quotations about Antares, the brightest star in the Scorpius constellation.
Now rising you may see with naked eye
The brilliant Star in Corde Scorpii,
Whose changing colours on a Summer’s night,
When culminating, shine so clear and bright,
And twinkling change with red and silver light.
~Ovid (43 BCE–17 CE)
Antares — α Scorpii — the brilliant first magnitude star in the Scorpion, is one of the so-called four “Royal Stars,” known as such from remote antiquity. The Arabs called Antares “the Scorpion’s Heart.” Chinese documents of great antiquity refer to it as “the Fire Star” or “Great Fire.” On the Euphrates, it was known as “the Lusty King” or “the Vermilion Star.” Some of the ancient temples of Egypt were oriented to Antares. ~William Tyler Olcott, “Scorpio, The Scorpion,” Star Lore of All Ages, 1911
Antares’ fire burns low — with huge embers it glows like sullen demons doomed to death, a flame-scourged sun awaiting the frigid touch that time bestows on life. ~William Tyler Olcott, “Scorpio, The Scorpion,” Star Lore of All Ages, 1911
…The sky to-night
Is of a clearer blackness than is wont,
And far within its depths the colored stars
Sparkle like gems — capricious Antares
Flushing and paling in the Southern arch…
~Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867), “The Scholar of Thebet Ben Chorat”
Antares carries concealed in its rays a green jewel, a tiny emerald companion, which can be seen with a telescope. When the air is steady and the companion can be well viewed, there is no finer sight among the double stars. ~Garrett P. Serviss, Pleasures of the Telescope, 1901
…Antares winks green and gold, crimson and rust
As Scorpius swings its tail at the southern horizon…
~Terri Guillemets, “Galactic gathering,” 2020
In Scorpio, distinguished by a train of conspicuous stars, there are several very beautiful objects:— The star Antares is one of the most beautiful of the red stars and is the most brilliant star in that region of the skies. It is a double star, its companion being a minute green sun. The star β Scorpionis is a fine optical double with colours of white and lilac, σ Scorpionis white and maroon, triple ξ Scorpionis white and grey. ~R. A. Proctor, Half-Hours with the Telescope, 1878 [mash-up quote with E. H. Burritt
Antares, the bright star in the heart of the Scorpion is known by the rapid permutations of colour exhibited by its twinkling.
Original post date: 2007 Nov 26
1st major revision: 2017 Jul 31
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