The Raised Tail (ash-shawla)
The Raised Tail is part of the Arabian constellation of the Scorpion (al-‘aqrab). The Arabian Scorpion followed the image of the scorpion defined by the Sumerians more than 3000 years ago. The Raised Tail marks the end of the Scorpion’s tail, which has been curved and raised to strike.
A pair of bright stars located very close to each other at the end of the tail of the Scorpion.
λ SCO (Shaula), blue-white star, magnitude 1.6
υ SCO (Lesath), blue-white star, magnitude 2.7
Ibn Qutayba (d. 879 CE) reported that the Raised Tail was said to rise on the morning of December 10 and set on the morning of June 10. On account of the precession of the equinoxes, today we can expect to observe the Raised Tail setting in mid-June and rising early January, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
The Raised Tail of the Scorpion does not figure in the calendar of the rains stars.
In early listings of the lunar stations, the Raised Tail is the 21st station of the year. This was later changed to the 19th lunar station after the stations were adjusted to begin with the vernal equinox. The stars of the Raised Tail partially match the Hindu nakshatra called Mula.
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The Raised Tail is part of the Scorpion (al-‘aqrab, العقرب) folkloric celestial complex, which extends from the Two Claws (az-zubanayan, الزبانيان) to this Raised Tail.
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