Lurid Tales of Constellation Pegasus the Winged Horse
Join us as we learn the lurid tale of the constellation Pegasus the Winged Horse, which is one of the largest constellations in the sky.
Symbolism: Pegasus the Winged Horse
Mythology: In Greek mythology, Pegasus is a white winged horse that sprang from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa when Perseus beheaded her. Medusa was a beautiful young woman before she was turned into a monster by the goddess Athena after being caught being defiled by the sea god Poseidon in the goddess’ temple. Athena turned Medusa’s hair into snakes and made her face so ugly that anyone who looked at her immediately turned to stone. Perseus was sent to defeat Medusa by King Polydectes of Seriphus. He who was the brother of Dictys, the man who took Perseus and his mother Danaë in and raised Perseus as his own son. Polydectes wanted Danaë for himself and Perseus stood in his way because Perseus defended his mother from the king’s advances. Polydectes did not expect the hero to come back from his mission alive. When Perseus defeated Medusa, Pegasus and the warrior Chrysaor sprang from her neck, both of them offspring of Poseidon.
When is it visible? This beautiful figure can be seen high in the sky starting near the end of summer and continuing through autumn if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are below the Equator, look for Pegasus in late winter and through spring.
How to find it? The easiest way to spot the Constellation of Pegasus would be to look high in the southern sky to locate the asterism collection of stars known as the great square of Pegasus. It is often described as a box with legs sticking out of it.
History and Science: It was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The constellation is known for the Great Square of Pegasus, a familiar asterism in the northern sky, as well as for a number of bright stars and deep sky objects.
You can’t buy a star in the Constellation Pegasus, but you can Name a Star.