Constellation Pegasus

 

In the northern hemisphere, Pegasus extends with a surface of 1,121 square degrees, making it the seventh largest of the 88 modern constellations. It is named after the winged horse of Greek mythology.

How to spot Pegasus

The constellation Pegasus contains eight stars with known planets. The body of the flying horse is represented by the distinctive quadrangle formed by the stars α, β, γ and Sirrah (a star of the Andromeda). The legs and the neck of Pegasus extend from here. The constellation can be seen in latitudes between 90° and -60° and is best seen during the month of October. The brightest star in the constellation is Epsilon Pegasi, also known as Enif (Nose). It is an orange supergiant with a distance of 672 light years.

The constellation is adjacent to many constellations because of its size. In the north there are Cygnus and Lacerta, in the west Delphinus, Vulpecula and Equuleus, in the east Andromeda and Pisces, and in the south Aquarius.

Mythology

In Greek mythology Pegasus rose from the body of Medusa, the once beautiful young woman who was raped by Poseidon and then turned into a snake-headed monster. When the hero Perseus put an end to her unworthy life, Pegasus was born. The winged horse escaped and was later captured by Bellerophon, and they went on many adventures. Together they killed the monster Chimaira, whereupon Bellerophon was considered the favorite of the Gods. But when he wanted to rise to them in the Olympus, he drew himself to the wrath of Zeus. Zeus sent out a gadfly that pricked Pegasus. The horse took fright and dropped Bellerophon, who survived the fall to earth, but became blind and paralyzed. Pegasus flew on to Olympus and has carried the lightning and the thunder of Zeus ever since. In gratitude for its many heroic deeds, Pegasus was finally sent to heaven.

Interesting Facts

In the history of our solar system, the 51 Pegasi was the first star in which a planetary system has been detected. When the data from the spectrum had been evaluated, it became apparent that a planet as large as Jupiter orbits this star. The constellation of today has emerged from the ancient Babylonian constellation IKU. It was already described by Ptolemy as one of the 48 constellations of antiquity.