Constellations of stars. The title story of the constellations

December 20, 2011 21:01

The history is very interesting constellations. Still a long time observers of the sky combined the most vibrant and visible group of stars into constellations and gave them different names. These were the names of mythical heroes or animals, characters, legends and stories — Hercules and the Centaur, Taurus, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pegasus, etc. The names of the constellations Peacock, Toucan, Native American, South. Cross, the Bird of Paradise was reflected the Age of Discovery. Constellations very much — 88. But not all of them are bright and noticeable. Most richly bright stars winter sky.

At first glance, the names of many of the constellations seem strange. Often in the position of stars is very difficult or even impossible to see what the title says constellation. Big Dipper, for example, resembles a ladle, very difficult to imagine the sky Giraffe or Lynx. But if you look old atlases sky, then, in the constellation are depicted as animals.

That the ancient Greeks tells of the Dipper?

About Big and Little Dipper, there are many legends. Here is one of them. Once upon a time in ancient times, the king Lycaon, who ruled the country of Arcadia, had a daughter named Callisto. Her beauty was so extraordinary that she ventured to compete with Hero — almighty goddess and wife of the supreme god Zeus. Jealous Hera finally avenged Callisto: using his supernatural power, she turned it into an ugly bear. When the son of Callisto, the young Arcade, once returned from the hunt, he saw the door of his home a wild animal, he had no idea, I almost killed his mother-bear. This prevented Zeus — he held his hand Arcade and Callisto took forever to his sky, turning into a beautiful constellation — the Big Dipper. In Ursa Minor at the same time has been transformed and pet dog Callisto. Do not stay on Earth and Arcade: Zeus and turned into the constellation Bootes, doomed forever to guard the skies of his mother. The main star of this constellation is called Arcturus, which means "guardian of the bear." Big and Little Dipper are nonsetting constellations, most notably in the northern sky. There is another legend about the circumpolar constellations. Fearing evil god Cro-nose, which devoured babies, mother of Zeus, Rhea hid her newborn in a cave, where he was reared apart Amaltei goats, two bears — Melissa and the Director-face, and ultimately placed it on the sky. Melissa Kinosuroy sometimes called, which means "the dog's tail." In the legends of different nations are often called the Big Dipper chariot, wagon or just seven bulls. Next to the star Mizar (from the Arabic word "horse") — the second, or middle, the star in the handle of the Big Dipper — barely visible star Alcor (in Arabic means "horseman", "rider"). For these stars can check vision, each star should be visible to the naked eye.

As Perseus rescued Andromeda

The names of the sky reflected the myth of the hero Perseus. Once upon a time, according to the ancient Greeks, Ethiopia was ruled by King Cepheus and on behalf of the queen, who was called Cassiopeia. Was their only daughter, a beautiful Andromeda. The queen was very proud of her daughter and once had the imprudence to show off their beauty and the beauty of his daughter to the mythical inhabitant of the sea — Nereids. They were very angry, because they believed that they were the most beautiful in the world. Nereids complained to his father — the god of the seas In seydonu that he punished Cassiopeia and Andromeda. And the mighty ruler of the seas sent to Ethiopia a huge sea monster — China. China pulled out of the mouth of the fire poured out of his ears, black smoke, the tail was covered with sharp spines. Monster devastated and burned the country, threatened to ruin the whole nation. To appease Poseidon, Cepheus and Cassiopeia agreed to give his beloved daughter to be eaten by the monster. Beauty Andromeda was chained to a coastal cliff and obediently waited their fate. Meanwhile, at the other side of the world one of the most famous legendary heroes — Perseus — made an extraordinary feat. He got on the island, where they lived Gorgons — monsters in the way of women who were full of snakes instead of hair. View Gorgon was so horrible that anyone risked look them in the eye, instantly fossilized. But nothing could stop the fearless Perseus. Seizing the moment, when the Gorgons asleep. Perseus cut off the head of one of them — the most important, the most terrible — Gorgon Medusa. At that moment, a huge body of Medusa fluttered winged horse Pegasus. Perseus on Pegasus jumped and ran home. Flew over Ethiopia, he saw Andromeda chained to a rock, which was about to grab the awful Keith. Brave Perseus fought the monster. This struggle lasted long. Magic sandals Perseus lifted him into the air, he drove back to Keith his curved sword. Keith roared and rushed at Perseus. Perseus sent a monster deadening look severed head of Medusa, which was attached to his board. The monster turned to stone and drowned and turned into an island. Perseus And Andromeda unchained and brought her to the palace Cepheus. Overjoyed, the king gave to his wife Andromeda Perseus. In Ethiopia, many days went merry feast. And the sky lit since the constellation Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus. On the map you will find the sky constellation Cetus, Pegasus. Since the ancient myths of the Earth are reflected in the sky.

As the winged horse Pegasus "flew" to the sky

Andromeda is located near the constellation of Pegasus, which is especially evident at midnight in the middle of October. The three stars of the constellation and the star Alpha Andromedae form a figure which received the astronomers called "The Great Square". It can be easily found on the autumn sky. The winged horse Pegasus originated from Perseus beheaded Medusa body, but did not inherit from her any harm. He was a favorite of the nine Muses — daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory, on a mountain Helicon he knocked hoof Ippokreny source water which brought inspiration to poets. And another legend, in which the said Pegasus. Grandson of King Sisifa Bellerophon had to kill the fire-breathing monster Chimera (Chimera — in Greek "goat"). Monster had a lion's head, goat's body and tail of the dragon. Bellerophon managed to slay the Chimera with Pegasus. One day he saw a winged horse and a desire to take possession of them seized the boy. In the dream it was to the goddess Athena, the favorite daughter of Zeus, the wise and warlike, the patroness of many heroes. She gave Bellerophon wonderful, tames horses bridle. With the help of Pegasus and Bellerophon caught went to battle with the Chimera. Rose high into the air, he threw into a monster boom until it died. But his success was not satisfied with Bellerophon, and wished on a winged horse to climb up to heaven, in the home of the immortals. Zeus, having learned about it, angry, brought Pegasus in a rage, and he threw his rider to the ground. Pegasus then went to Olympus, where wearing lightning of Zeus. The main attraction of the constellation Pegasus — bright globular cluster. Through binoculars seen round glowing hazy spot, the edges of which sparkle like the lights of the city, visible from the aircraft. It turns out that this globular cluster concluded about six million suns!

The most beautiful constellation of the Southern SKY

The whole sky is no other constellation, which would contain many interesting and easily accessible to the observation of objects as Orion, located near the constellation Taurus. Orion was the son of Poseidon — god of the sea in Greek mythology (the Roman — Neptune). He was a famous hunter, fought with the bull and boasted that no animal which he had not been able to win over that Hera, the powerful wife of the mighty Zeus, sent him the Scorpion. Orion cleared of wild animals Chios and begged the king of this island his daughter's hand, but he refused. Orion tried to kidnap the girl and the king avenged him, intoxicate, he blinded Orion. Helios returned to Orion sight, but the bite sent Hero Scorpio Orion still died. Zeus placed it in the sky so that he can always get away from his pursuer, and indeed, these two constellations in the sky at the same time is not never seen


The ancient constellation Leo in the sky was pretty much "territory", and the lion was the owner of the magnificent "brush" on the tail. But in 243 BC He lost the power. There was a funny story, which legend says. In the Egyptian king Ptolemy Euergetes had a beautiful wife, Queen Veronica Especially great was her magnificent long hair. When Ptolemy went to war, his sorrowful wife made a vow to the gods: if they save her beloved husband safe and sound, to sacrifice their hair soon Ptolemy returned safely home, but seeing cropped wife was upset. Royal couple reassured astronomer Conon. stating that the gods offered up Coma to heaven, where they are meant to decorate spring nights.


The ancient peoples of the most important was the constellation of Taurus, as the new year began in the spring. In the zodiac constellation of Taurus is the oldest, because the lives of ancient peoples herding played a huge role, and with the bull (Taurus) tied the constellation where the Sun as it overcame the winter and herald the arrival of spring and summer. In general, many of the ancient peoples worshiped the animal, believed to be sacred. In ancient Egypt was a sacred bull Apis, who was worshiped in his lifetime and the mummy is solemnly buried in a magnificent tomb. Every 25 years, Apis replaced. In Greece, the bull also enjoyed great honor. Crete bull called the Minotaur. Heroes of Hellas Hercules, Theseus, Jason tamed bulls. Aries was also highly esteemed in ancient times. Egypt's supreme god Amun-Ra was depicted with ram's head, and his road to the temple is a avenue of sphinxes with ram heads believed that the constellation of Aries Aries is named after the golden fleece, and for which the Argonauts sailed. In the sky, by the way, there are a number of constellations, reflecting the ship Argo. Alpha star (the brightest) of the constellation called Gamal (Arabic for "adult sheep"). The brightest star in the constellation Taurus called Aldebaran.


In this constellation two bright stars are very close to one another. The name they received after the Argonauts Dioscuri — Castor and Pollux — twin sons of Zeus, the most powerful of the Olympian gods, and Leda, frivolous earthly beauty, the brothers of Helen — the culprits Trojan War. Castor was known as a skillful charioteer and Pollux as unsurpassed fist fighter. They took part in the campaign and the Argonauts calydonian hunting. But once Dioscuri not share prey with their cousins, the giant IDASA and Linkeem. In the battle with the brothers were badly wounded. When Castor died, Pollux immortal did not want to part with his brother and asked Zeus to not separate them. Since then, according to the will of Zeus, the brothers spend six months in the dark realm of Hades, and six months — at Olympus. There are times when one and the same day the star Castor obscured by the dawn, and Pollux — evening. Perhaps it is this fact that has led to the birth of the legend of the brothers living in a realm of the dead, it is in heaven. Dioscuri brothers considered the ancient patron of sailors caught in a storm. And the appearance of the masts of ships before the storm, "St. Elmo's Fire" was considered a visit to the Twin their sister Helen. St. Elmo's fire — glowing discharge of atmospheric electricity, observed in a pointed object (the mast, lightning rod, etc.). Dioscuri were worshiped as guardians and protectors of the state of hospitality. In ancient Rome, was in circulation a silver coin "Dioscuri" with the image of stars.

As in heaven singing curled CANCER

Crab — one of the most subtle zodiacal constellations. The story of his very interesting. There are some pretty exotic explanation for the name of this constellation. So, for example, seriously argued that the Egyptians put into this area of the sky as a symbol of Cancer destruction and death, because this animal feeds on carrion. Cancer is moving tail first. About two thousand years ago in the constellation of Cancer was the point of the summer solstice (ie, the greatest length of daylight). The sun, rising in the time limit removal to the north began to "back away" back. The duration of the day is gradually decreasing. According to the classical ancient mythology huge sea Cancer attacked Hercules, when he fought with Lernaean Hydra. Hero crushed it, but the goddess Hera hated Hercules, placed Cancer at the sky. In the Louvre to the famous Egyptian circle of the zodiac in which the constellation Cancer is above all others.

Scarecrow a lion in the sky?

About 4500 years ago in the constellation point was solntsestoaniya summer, and the Sun is in the constellation during the hottest time of the year. So many people in the name Leo became a symbol of fire. The Assyrians used to call this constellation the "great light", and the Chaldeans associated ferocious lion Nemenov fierce heat that was every summer. They believed that the sun gets extra strength and warmth, while the stars of a lion. In Egypt, too, is associated with the constellation of the summer: the pack of lions to escape the heat, moved from the desert to the Nile Valley, which at the time was spreading. Therefore the Egyptians placed on the sluice gate of irrigation channels, direct the water to the fields, the image in the form of a lion's head with open mouth.


Virgo constellation, located next to the Lion, is a constellation of sometimes seemed fabulous Sphinx — mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. Often in the early myths of the Virgin identified with Rhea, the mother of the god Zeus, the wife of the god Kronos. Sometimes it saw Themis, goddess of justice, which in its classic appearance holding scales (near the zodiacal constellation Virgo). There is evidence that in this constellation ancient observers saw Astrea, the daughter of Themis and Zeus, the last of the goddesses, who left Earth at the end of the Bronze Age. Ast-yard — the goddess of justice, a symbol of purity and innocence, left Earth because of the crimes of people. This we see the Virgin in the ancient myths. Virgin is usually depicted with a staff of Mercury and ears. Spica (in the lane. Latin for "ear") is named the brightest star in the constellation. The very name of the star and the fact that the Virgin depicted with a spike in his hand, points to the connection of the star with agricultural activities of man. It is possible that with the advent of it on top of the sky matched any cultivation.

LIBRA — The only "dead" zodiac constellation

Indeed, it seems strange that in animals, and "half-animals" is in the zodiac sign of Libra. Over two thousand years ago in the constellation was autumnal equinox. Equality of day and night could be one of the reasons why the zodiac constellation has been called "The Balance." The appearance of the sky in the middle latitudes of Libra indicating that the time of sowing, and the ancient Egyptians in the late spring to see this as a signal to start harvesting the first crop. Libra — the symbol of balance — could just remind the ancient farmers of the need to weigh the harvest. The ancient Greeks Astrea — Goddess of justice by means of weight weighing the fate of people. One myth explains the appearance of the zodiacal constellation Libra as a reminder to people about the need to strictly abide by the laws. The fact that Astraea was the daughter of almighty Zeus and the goddess of justice Themis. By order of Zeus and Themis Astrea regularly "inspected" the Earth (armed with weights and tying a bandage eyes, that judge everything objectively, provide good-quality information and Olympus ruthlessly punish cheaters, liars and those who dared to accomplish all kinds of unjust acts). Here Zeus and decided that Libra daughter should be placed in the sky.

REALLY LIKE Constellation Scorpio?

Not only because of resemblance this constellation was given the role of poisonous creatures. Sun come into this region of the sky in the late autumn, when all nature as it was dying to be reborn again, like the god Dionysus, in the early spring of next year. The sun was considered "stung" by some poisonous substance (by the way, in this region of the sky and the constellation of the Serpent is!) "From hurting" all winter, being weak and pale. According to classical Greek mythology, this is the scorpion that stung the giant Orion and was hidden by the goddess Hero of the diametrically opposite side of the sky. It was he, the celestial Scorpion, scared most unhappy Phaeton, the son of the god Helios, who has decided to ride across the sky in his chariot of fire, not listening to the warnings of his father. Other nations have given their names to this constellation. For example, for the Polynesians it seemed fishhook, which God Maun pulled from the depths of the Pacific island of New Zealand. In Mayan, this constellation was associated with the name Yalagau, which means "the Lord of Darkness." According to many astronomers, the most ominous sign of Scorpio — the symbol of death. He seemed particularly scary when it provided disaster planet — Saturn. Scorpio — a constellation which often break out new stars, in addition, this constellation is rich with bright star clusters.

WHO aims to STAR Sagittarius?

According to Greek mythology, the wisest of the centaur Chiron, son of god and the goddess Themis, Chronos, and created the first model of the celestial sphere. In this one place in the zodiac, he took for himself. But it was ahead Krotos treacherous centaur, who took his place, and fraud became the constellation Sagittarius. And the very God of Chiron Zeus transformed after death in the constellation Centaurus. And so it was in the sky for two centaur. Hateful Sagittarius Scorpio afraid even to himself, in which he takes aim with an arrow. Sometimes you can see an image of Sagittarius as a centaur with two faces: one turned back, the other — in advance. In this he resembles the Roman god Janus. The name is associated Janus first month of the year — January. And the sun is in Sagittarius winter. Thus, the constellation as it symbolizes the end of the old and the beginning of the new year, and one of his face looking into the past, and the other — in the future. In the direction of the constellation Sagittarius is the center of our galaxy. If you look at the map of the starry sky, the Milky Way passes through the constellation of Sagittarius. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is very rich in beautiful nebulae. Perhaps, it is more than any other constellation deserves the name of "heavenly treasure." Many star clusters and nebulae are strikingly beautiful.


Capricorn — a mythical creature with the body of a goat and the tail of a fish. According to Greek legend, the most common goat-footed god Pan, son of Hermes, patron of shepherds, frightened Stoglav giant Typhon and horror into the water. Since then it has become water god, and he grew fishtail. Turned god Zeus in the constellation Capricorn became the lord of waters and a harbinger of storms. It was believed that it sends to the ground heavy rains. According to another legend — a goat Amalteya, who brought up her milk Zeus. The Indians called this constellation of Makara, ie Miracle-dragon, also half goat, half — fish. Some people portrayed it polukrokodilom — poluptitsy. Similar ideas existed in South America. When the Sun enters the constellation of Capricorn, the Indians were celebrating the New Year by wearing ceremonial dance masks depicting a goat head. But Indigenous Australians called the constellation Capricornus constellation Kangaroo, followed by chasing celestial hunters to kill it and roasted on a big bonfire. Many ancient peoples goat revered as a sacred animal in honor of the goats committed worship. People put on the garments of goat skins and bring the gift of the gods — the sacrificial goat. It is with such practices and this constellation is associated idea of the "scapegoat" — Azazel. Azazel — (kozlootpuschenie) — the name of one of kozloobraznyh gods, demons desert. In the so-called day kozlootpuscheniya selected two goats — one for the offering, and the other for the scapegoat into the wilderness. Of the two goats chosen priests, whom God, and which Azazel. First offered sacrifice to God, and then to the high priest summed another goat, on which he laid his hands and thus, as it passed all the sins of the people. And after that let go the goat in the wilderness. Desert was a symbol of the underworld and the natural place for sin. Capricorn is located at the bottom of the ecliptic. Perhaps this idea of the cause of the underworld. In the constellation of Capricorn, about 2 thousand years ago there was a point of the winter solstice. The ancient philosopher Macrobius believed that the sun, having the lowest point, begins to climb like a mountain goat, striving for the top.

WHERE grist Aquarius?

This constellation is called Gidrohos Greeks, the Romans — Akuarius, the Arabs — Sakib-al-ma. All this meant the same thing: a man pouring water. In the constellation of Aquarius is associated Greek myth of Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha, the only people who survived the flood. The name of the constellation actually leads to the "homeland of the Flood" in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In some writings of the ancient people — Sumerians — the two rivers are depicted arising from vessel Aquarius. The eleventh month of the Sumerians called the "month of the water curse." According to the beliefs of the Sumerians, Aquarius was in the center of "heavenly sea", and so foreshadowed the rainy season. It was identified with the god, warned people about the flood. This legend is similar to the ancient Sumerian Bible story of Noah and his family — the only people who survived the flood in the ark. In Egypt, the constellation of Aquarius in the sky was observed during most of the water level in the river Nile. It was believed that the god of water in the Nile CNEM overturns a huge bucket. Just as it was believed that the god of the vessels follow the White River and the Blue Nile — tributaries of the Nile. It is possible that the constellation of Aquarius a legend about one of the labors of Hercules — cleaning the Augean stables (which the hero needed to stem the three rivers).

Pisces zodiac constellation end ring

The very location of stars in the sky inspires the thought of two fish connected by a ribbon or rope. Origin of the name of the constellation Pisces is very ancient and is apparently related to the Phoenician mythology. In this constellation the sun come fit the rich fishing grounds. Fertility goddess depicted as a woman with a fish's tail, which, as legend has it, came with her when she and her son, fearing the monster, rushed into the water. Such a legend existed among the ancient Greeks. Once they believed that the fish became Aphrodite and her son Eros: They walked along the river bank, but frightened the evil Typhon, rushed into the water and were rescued and turned into fish. Aphrodite became a southern fish, and Eros — in the north.

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