Constellation Pavo

 

The Peacock (lat. Pavo) is a constellation of the south. Its main star α Pavonis has a magnitude of 1.94, but the remaining stars are stars of the third and fourth magnitude.

How to spot Pavo

With an area of 378 square degrees, Pavo is best seen in the summer and fall. It lies between the constellations Ara, Apus, Octans and Indus.

History

At the end of the 16th century, a Dutch fleet traveled to the legendary Spice Islands to create new trade relationships. Under Captain Keyser, the positions of 135 stars were measured during this journey, which were later included by Peter Plancius in his sky maps. From these he recognized twelve new constellations, including "De Pauww". A few years later, the constellation was recorded as "Pavo" in the new Sky Atlas.

Mythology

According to Greek mythology, Hera's favorite bird was a peacock. Her husband Zeus once again had a lover, whom he turned into a young cow for protection from his jealous wife. However, Hera was not outsmarted and sent the hundred-eyed giant Argus, who never slept and thus could guard the young cow. Zeus, however, sent Hermes, who played lullabies to the giant until all his eyes closed with fatigue. This moment Hermes used to kill Argus and free the lover of Zeus. Angrily, Hera then sent a biting fly, of which the cow was so afraid that she swam away and never returned. In gratitude of his loyalty, Hera set the eyes of the Argus on the feathers of the peacock.