Glossary term: Aries

Description: Aries is the smallest constellation in the Zodiac. The stars that make up this constellation are in the part of the sky that intersects with the ecliptic (the plane defined by the orbits of the Solar System's planets). Hence, from Earth, we can regularly find the planets, and also the Sun, in the constellation Aries. In the case of the Sun this occurs from mid-April to mid-May (at that time, of course, we cannot see the constellation's stars). Aries is one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union, but goes back much further – it was already one of the 48 constellations named by the 2nd century astronomer Claudius Ptolemy.

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The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".