PISCES (pis´ēz)—THE FISHES. (Face Southeast.)
Location.—This constellation is represented by two fishes each with a ribbon tied to its tail. One, the Northern Fish, lies just below β Andromedæ,—the other, represented by the circlet, is just below Pegasus. The ribbons, represented by streams of faint stars, from a “V” with elongated sides, and terminate in the star Al Rischa, The Knot.
Below ω, and to the east of λ the spot marked (*) is the place which the sun occupies at the time of the equinox. It is one of the two crossing places of the equinoctial, or equator, of the heavens, and the ecliptic, or sun’s path.
Below Pisces is Cetus, the Whale.
Pisces is thought to have taken its name from its coincidence with the sun during the rainy season.
Three distinct conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn took place in this constellation in the year 747 of Rome.
Pisces was considered the national constellation of the Jews, as well as a tribal symbol.
In 1881, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus were grouped together in Pisces.
The Circlet is a very striking group forming a pentagon. The glass reveals two faint stars in addition, making the figure seven-sided or elliptical in form.
As to the number of the stars as classified according to their magnitude, that is their brightness, it may be mentioned that there are approximately 20 stars of the first magnitude, 65 of the second, 300 of the third, and 450 of the fourth. We cannot see stars fainter than the sixth magnitude with the naked eye.