mardi 23 septembre 2008

Equuleus 1

The Little Horse

Origin of the ConstellationEquuleus seems to have been mentioned by Claudius Ptolemy, the author of the Almagest. The constellation may have been created by Hipparchus. There seems to be little mythology associated with Equuleus.

The outstanding Greek astronomer Hipparchus (146-127 BC) composed the first star catalogue, of about 850 stars. He also discovered the precession of the equinoxes and invented trigonometry. It is not known if he actually created any constellations. The "little horse" that the name refers to is lost in antiquity. Some sources believe it to be a half-brother of Pegasus, Celeris. The only brother of Pegasus, Chrysaor, was born simultaneously with Pegasus. Instead of a horse, Chrysaor was a warrior. Its original name seems to have been Al Faras al Awwal and the Latin equivalent Equus Primus, "the First Horse," since it rises just before Pegasus.

Equuleus is one of the smallest constellations in the heavens. It's quite old, and may have been founded by Ptolemy in the second century AD. However, the author of the Almagest often borrowed from others, and it is possible his principle source, Hipparchus, was the true creator of this constellation.

Aucun commentaire: