Constellation Draco

 

The constellation of the Dragon (lat. Draco) is one of the 48 constellations of antiquity described by Ptolemy. With its 1,083 square degrees, it is the eighth largest constellation in the sky.

How to spot Draco

The Dragon's body winds its way through several constellations: The Little Bear is almost enclosed, so it was formerly recognized as a wing of the Dragon. Past the Ursa Major the constellation will take you to the Giraffe near north pole of the sky. The Dragon's head leans towards the constellation of Hercules.

Mythology

Several versions of his mythological origin exist around the Dragon.

In the narrative about Jason, who with the help of Hercules and his talking ship Argo Navis tried to steal the golden fleece of the Aries, it was the dragon that protected it.

Another version is about the dragon Ladon, who guarded the tree of golden apples for the Goddess Hera. Faithfully and vigilantly, he completed his task. Hera later gave her step-son Hercules the task of stealing three of the golden apples in the hope that he would fail. However, he managed to kill the dragon with poison arrows from a safe distance and to pick the apples. In gratitude for his loyalty, Hera set the dragon as a constellation in the sky.