Jupiter lies in the adjacent constellation of Ophiucus
at this time.
He noted: "Nebula without star, discovered in the drapery that hangs from the right arm of Ophiucus
, & situated on the parallel of [xi] Serpentis; this nebula is not large, its light is faint, one can see it nevertheless in an ordinary telescope of 3 1/2 feet [focal length]; it is round, near it is a small star of ninth magnitude.
Revard, "Milton and millenarianism: from the Nativity Ode to Paradise Regained"; Malabika Sarkar, "Astronomical signs in Paradise Lost: Milton, Ophiucus
, and the millennial debate"; William B.
This is an ironical touch, for Ophiucus
means "serpent holder," and [PROGRAM LISTING NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is very much a serpent holder against his will.
It begins the year in Ophiucus
(with Saturn) and moves to Sagittarius in February.