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Pegasus Constellation, The Winged Horse

Pegasus Constellation

Pegasus Constellation

Pegasus Constellation Outline

Pegasus Constellation Outline

Pegasus’ shape can be discerned with ease. The more prominent feature of the Pegasus constellation is the great square of Pegasus which consists of four widely separated stars forming an almost perfect square. The Great Square of Pegasus is actually an asterisms, meaning it is a pattern formed with a portion of the full constellation. Without binoculars, about 30 dim stars can be seen inside the square of Pegasus. One of the square’s stars belongs to the Andromeda Constellation.

Other objects of interest in the Pegasus constellation include two double stars, epsilon and pi Pegasi. Pegasus’ brightest stars are alpha Pegasi or Markab, which is the Arabic word for saddle. Both have a magnitude of 2.5.

Pegasus Constellation Mythology

This Winged Horse was actually described as a boat by both the Phoenicians and the Egyptians. Jewish legends refer to it as the might hunter Nimrod’s horse. We know it as Pegasus and this is from from Greek mythology. The story is that Winged Horse sprung from the body of Medusa when she was slain by Perseus. Pegasus was allowed to stay in Zeus’ stables on Mount Olympus and was even afforded the honor of carrying Zeus’ thunder and lightning.

One day Pegasus helped Bellerophon kill the Chimera, a beast that a combination of a lion, a serpent and a goat. Zeus was greatly angered by this. Zeus sent a fly to bite Pegasus. The Winged Horse jumped into the sky as a result.

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