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Serpens(ser -penz) (Serpent) A constellation divided into two unequal parts, originally called Serpens Caput (Serpent's Head) and Serpens Cauda (Serpent's Tail), that lie on each side of the constellation Ophiuchus. The larger part (the Head) lies in the northern hemisphere near Corona Borealis; the smaller section (the Tail) lies in the southern hemisphere near Scorpius, partly in the Milky Way. The two sections use a single set of Bayer letters (see stellar nomenclature) to identify the stars. The brightest stars are Alpha (α) Serpentis, of 2nd magnitude, and several of 3rd magnitude. The globular cluster M5, in the larger part, contains over 100 RR Lyrae stars. The Eagle nebula, M16, lies in the smaller section. Abbrev.: Ser; genitive form: Serpentis; approx. position: RA 15.5h, dec +10° (Head), RA 18.3h, dec –5° (Tail); area: 428 sq deg (Head), 208 sq deg (Tail).
A constellation, right ascension 17 hours, declination 0°. Also known as Serpent.