jeudi 4 septembre 2008

Centaurus 1

Centaurus, is a bright constellation of the southern hemisphere. One of the largest constellations in the sky. The constellation, when including fainter stars visible to the naked eye, resembles a stick man with the back end of a horse attached. According to Ovid (Fasti v.379), the constellation is Chiron who was a wise centaur (half-man, half-horse) known as a tutor to Jason (the leader of the Argonauts) and tutor to Heracles (a demi-god).
Centaurus is sometimes associated with the constellation Sagitta, an arrow which Centaurus appears to have fired towards the constellation Aquila. As such, together with the constellation Lupus, and the fact that Centaurus is below the ecliptic, this may have formed the basis of the myth of the Erymanthian Boar, one of the Twelve Labours of Heracles.
When the sun is in the sign of Virgo, it sits directly above the constellation Centaurus. The Greeks considered that the centaur Chiron, who was accidentally poisoned and died due to Heracles, while Heracles took a detour from hunting the Erymanthian Boar, was put in the sky as a mark of pity.
The constellation Lupus is next after Centaurus in the sun's transit, and was to the Greeks an arbitrary hunted animal (Therion) — it became a wolf under the Romans. Centaurus appears to have fired an arrow, the constellation Sagitta, towards Aquila, the eagle that tortured Prometheus, thus appearing to release Prometheus from his torment. Centaurus is also under the ecliptic, and thus considered to be in the underworld.

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