Two ships of the United States Navy, USS Aquila (AK-47) and USS Aquila (PHM-4), have been named after the constellation.
The name Aquila stands for eagle in Latin; it represents the bird who carried the thunderbolts of Zeus in Greek mythology. The constellation is positioned just a few degrees north of the celestial equator and can be best seen at latitudes between +90 degrees and -75 degrees. The ideal time to see this constellation is at 21:00 or 9:00 PM in the month of August.
Constellations neighboring Aquila include, Sagitta, Hercules, Ophiuchus, Serpens Cauda, Scutum, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Delphinus.
Refer below for a brief outline of the constellation, and some interesting facts about it.
||Aquila, Eagle, Vultur volans
|Area of Sky
||652 square degrees
||20h 00m 00s, +05° 00' 00"
||Altair, Beta Aquilae, Gamma Aquilae,
Eta Aquilae, Epsilon Aquilae,
Zeta Aquilae, Pi Aquilae,
Theta Aquilae, and Delta Aquilae
Facts about the Aquila Constellation
➔ Aquila is a diamond-shaped constellation significant for the three stars in a row, the brightest being Altair or (Alpha Aquilae), and the other two being Beta and Gamma Aquilae respectively. The tail is formed by a duo referred to as Deneb el Okab or Zeta Aquilae.
➔ The Aquila constellation is looked at quite differently in several cultures. The Romans perceived it as a vulture, the Indians believe it to be the half-man, half-eagle god 'Garuda'. Greek mythology considers it to be the eagle which was sent to carry Ganymede.
➔ As per the Chinese tale Qi Xi, Altair has been forever separated from his wife, Vega by the milky way due to Vega's punishment of marrying a mortal.
➔ Altair is also one of the three bright stars that forms the 'summer triangle'. The other two stars, Deneb and Vega belong to the Cygnus and Lyra constellation respectively.
➔ Altair is the constellation's brightest star and has a luminosity which is eight times more than the sun.
➔ Aquila's other name 'Vultur volans' simply refers to 'flying vulture', and was coined by the Romans.
➔ Ptolemy, the popular Grecko-Egyptian astronomer from the 2nd century described 48 different constellations, one of which is Aquila.
➔ The constellation has witnessed two notable novae; one was seen in 389 BC and was reported to be as bright as Venus, the other was seen in 1918 and was reported to be slightly brighter than Altair.
➔ Aquila is also known to hold some gigantic, extragalactic objects. One of these is as huge as 10 billion light years and is known as the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall (Her-CrB GW), it was discovered in November 2013 and is the most massive structure in the universe known to humans.
➔ NASA's Pioneer G, a space probe launched in April 6, 1973 to study the asteroid belt will pass one of the stars in Aquila constellation in approximately 4 million years.
➔ There are three interesting planetary nebulae that reside in this constellation. The NGC 6804 looks like a small bright ring, the NGC 6751 looks like and is also referred to as a 'glowing eye', and the NGC 6781 has a stark resemblance to the Owl nebula in the Ursa Major constellation.
➔ Aquila consists of 112 planetary nebulae, 133 dark nebulae, 3762 galaxies, 4 quasars, and 3 globular clusters.