History of Gemini ConstellationAuthor: Alina Michael
The history of Gemini Constellation is a unique one. The symbol of twins depicts a love bond between them as stated in Greek myth. A majority of the Greek constellations came from Babylonian astronomy. However, the legends surrounding the origin of the constellations were mostly taken from Greek mythology.
The Gemini Constellation is one of the 88 constellations defined by the Astronomical Union. The constellation is an image of a two spurs with stars Castor and Pollux at one end and four short spurs in the other end. This history of Gemini constellation dates back to prehistoric times. Gemini is in fact the Latin word for "twins". It is associated with the twins, Castor and Pollux as depicted in Greek mythology. Besides Castor and Pollux, the other two visible stars in the constellation are Alhena and Wasat. Pollux is the brightest star in the Gemini constellation. It is known in astronomical terms as beta Geminorum. It was discovered that Pollux is approximately 33 light years from our solar system and has a planet that is believed to be 2.3 times the size of Jupiter.
The mythology explains that Castor and Pollux were both mothered by a same person called Leda, but had different fathers. The myth elaborates that Leda was seduced and made pregnant in the same night by Zeus (who disguised himself as a Swan) and her husband, King Tyndareus. Leda then birthed Pollux and Helen of Troy, followed by Castor the Twin of Pollux. Castor did well in managing horses while Pollux had extraordinary skills in boxing. It was also noted that Pollux was immortal, whereas Castor was mortal. They both journeyed together in search of the Golden Fleece (similar to the Holy Grail). They fought alongside in the Trojan War to return Helen to her husband. When Castor died, Pollux was in despair. Pollux then requested Zeus to allow Castor share his immortality. Zeus with the power given agreed, and they were reunited as the Gemini Constellation image in the night sky, never parted.
The rich history of Gemini Constellation depicts a beautiful love story between two twins, who in the end chose to be together despite death.