mercredi 3 septembre 2008

Cetus 1

Cetus latinized form of Ancient Greek κῆτος - kētos, originally referring to the sea monster Ceto, but later on referring to any sea "monster", such as a whale or a huge fish” is a constellation of the northern winter sky, in the region known as the Water, near other watery constellations like Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.

This constellation has been known since antiquity. In Mesopotamia, it was identified with the primordial cosmic female principle, the sea-monster Tiamat.
In Ancient Greece, together with the constellations above it, (Andromeda, Cepheus, Perseus, Cassiopeia, and possibly Pegasus), this may be the source of the myth of the Boast of Cassiopeia, with which it is usually identified.

In certain earlier Greek legends, it also represented the gates (and gateposts) of the underworld (considered to be the area under the ecliptic). As such, together with other features in the Zodiac sign of Pisces (including Pisces itself, as well as prominent stars behind Cetus), it may have formed the basis of the myth of the capture of Cerberus in The Twelve Labours of Heracles.
According to the Arabs, one of the hands of the Pleiades (Al-Thurayya) extended into part of the constellation Cetus. The Arabs also saw two pearl necklaces among the stars of Cetus. One pearl necklace was fully tied together and undamaged, but the other pearl necklace was broken and its pearls were scattered. Another generation of Arabs, like the ancient Hebrews and Greeks, portrayed an enormous Leviathan-like sea creature among the stars of Cetus.

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