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Stars in your eyes

picture of stars

Looking East on the 25th July 2009 at 10.00 p.m.
The constellation Pegasus
The myth surrounding Pegasus, the winged horse, is an interesting one:

The �mother� of Pegasus was Medusa, the Gorgon, who in her youth was a great beauty with flowing locks. Unfortunately for her Posiedon, god of sea and horses, seduced her in the temple of Athene. Athene was not best pleased with this and changed Medusa into a snake-haired monster whose gaze turned men into stone.
Perseus managed to cut off her head without looking at her, so avoiding being turned into stone. From Medusa�s neck sprang Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor. Pegasus flew away from the body of Medusa to Mount Helicon, home of the Muses.
Some time later a Greek mortal named Belleraphon fell asleep in the temple of Athene, where she visited him in a dream and gave him a golden bridle which allowed him to tame and ride Pegasus. This he did, flying all over the place performing many goodly deeds. Then he became over-inflated and decided to fly Pegasus to Olympus to see the gods. Zeus did not take too well to a mortal trying this and sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus. This caused Belleraphon to fall to earth.
Poor Belleraphon lived his life out on Earth in blinded misery as punishment. Pegasus, however, became the most important horse in Zeus�s stable and was honoured with a constellation � the seventh largest.

In the sky, only the top half of the horse is shown. Its body is the famous Square of Pegasus marked by four large stars, one of which is shared with Andromeda.
Thanks to our resident astronomer JG