Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Winged Horse

 Pegasus is a winged horse and its constellation is easily recognized by its four main stars that form a square.  This constellation is found near the northern celestial equator.  Some particular globular clusters as well as a Pegasus spiral galaxy make a beautiful object under telescope observation.

 Four stars form the square "body" of Pegasus.  Three more stars form the winged horse's neck and head.  This constellation is located near the celestial equator.  One of Pegasus's specificities is the globular array M 15, which is about 30,000 light years away.  This can be seen with normal binoculars, but with just it will look like a hazy dot.  In addition, Pegasus has a spiral galaxy, which is 60 million light years away from us (NGC 7331).  To observe this, you need a good telescope.

 Straight Ascent: 22h 57m to 2h 39m

 Declination: +22 to 53 degrees

 Brightest Star: Epsilon Pegasi (Enif)

 Mythology:

 In Greek mythology, the hero Pegasus was a winged horse with magical powers.  It was not easy to tame Pegasus.  The hero Bellerophon managed to do this, due to his intemperance and thus, had Pegasus as his horse.  He decided he would do it and the ladies and gentlemen of Olympus sent him to end the outrage the horse was causing.  After the death of his sons in battle, Bellerophon asked Pegasus to take him to Mount Olympus.  Although Pegasus agreed, he fell back to Earth after Zeus fired a bolt that made him fall from Pegasus.

 Best time to observe: Autumn

 Neighboring constellations: Lizard, Swan, Fox, Dolphin, Minor Horse, Aquarius, Pisces, Andromeda.

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