Looking Up: Eternal Twins

Apr 24, 2017

Two gems in the sky.
Credit Wikipedia / via earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up guest host Bruce Bookout presents our monthly archeo-astronomy talk, this one is on the Gemini Twins.

Rising high in the winter skies of southern Colorado are the twin brothers of the sky - Gemini.  Look after sunset to the south for the two bright stars above Orion – Castor and Pollux.  Let’s double up on our knowledge of these guys.

Gemini represents the twin brothers Castor and Pollux. Both were mothered by Leda, but they had different fathers: In one night, Leda was made pregnant both by Jupiter in the form of a swan and by her husband, the king Tyndarus of Sparta. Pollux, as the son of a god, was immortal and was renowned for his strength, while his mortal brother Castor was famous for his skill with horses. Both brothers were members of the famed ship Argo in search of the Golden Fleece and then fought in the Trojan War to bring their sister home to her husband Menelaus. They are traditionally depicted as armed with spears and riding a matched pair of snow-white horses.

Legend has it that Pollux was overcome with sorrow when his mortal brother died, and begged Jupiter to allow him to share his immortality. Jupiter, acknowledging the heroism of both brothers, consented and reunited the pair in the heavens.

If you’d like to take a closer look at Gemini, or any of the other wonderful and amazing things in the sky, please visit CSASTRO.org for a link to information on our monthly meetings and our free public star parties! 

This is Bruce Bookout for the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society, telling you to keep looking up, Southern Colorado!