About Pegasus

Pegasus, a white winged horse that is a well-known staple in Greek Mythology, and even more recently in pop culture as it has made various appearances in Disney and other big time movies; is also the name of a constellation within our galaxy. Pegasus consists of a total of 17 stars each of which range in size and luminosity. The constellation was first found in the second century by a Greek Astronomer known as Ptolemy. Ptolemy is often sought of as the founding father of constellations and known as one of the biggest contributing inspirations to past and present day astronomy. Pegasus is one of the original 48 constellations foreseen, documented, and studied by Ptolemy that still is deemed a constellation in our present day society. The name Pegasus was chosen by Ptolemy, as the legend has it that Pegasus grew from a battle of two mythological figures Persus and Medusa, in which case the head of Medusa fell into the bottomless sea, and from that moment on the winged, beautiful, and docile Pegasus was born.

The basic constellation properties of Pegasus are that it is dominated by an asterism that shapes something similar to that of a square, and it has an unusual pattern that makes it visible to certain geographic locations at different seasonal times. The constellation can be seen in the sky at the beginning of fall because it is usually only seen above the Northern Hemisphere. However, during the winter and spring it can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. Although the constellation is hard to depict as a horse, its difficulty lies not in the fact that it does not form a horse, but rather that it is upside down. The famous Square of Pegasus represents half of the horse’s body, and as far as the other half of the constellation, scientists don’t have a solid hypothesis. The constellation is still the 7th biggest in size, and has eight named stars: Markab, Scheat, Algenib, Enif, Homam, Matar, Baham, and Sadalbari. There have been numerous suggested to connect the stars to form Pegasus, since it is upside down, often times many amateur and mid-level star gazers have quite a difficult time finding it; especially if the individuals looking for it do not know the information regarding its appearance patterns corresponding to the time of year. One suggestion is to connect the four bottom stars which form its head in a U-like manner and from there diagonally connect all of the stars to form the rest of its body.

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