The Gemini Constellation Twins
Castor And Pollux
One A God One A Mortal
According to Greek mythology the Gemini constellation's mother was Leda. Pollux was sired when Zeus (the Roman Jupiter) disguised as a swan seduced Leda.
Pollux then was immortal, like his father.
Castor on the other hand was mortal. Tyndareus, who had relations with Leda the same night was his father.
Leda supposedly had quadruplets. Pollux and Helen, the famous Helen of Troy were fathered by Zeus;
while Castor and Clytemnestra were the mortal offspring of Tyndareus.
Castor was a horseman. Pollux was a boxer. They sailed with Jason onboard the Argo on his quest to recover the Golden Fleece.
Castor was killed in a battle with Idas, Pollux was so upset by the death of Castor that he
asked Zeus to let him die too.
Zeus, touched by his son's devotion placed them both in the heavens as the constellation Gemini.
The Gemini constellation lay just above and left of
Orion the constellation.
The two stars, Castor and Pollux are the heads of the twins in the zodiac constellation.
Pollux is slightly brighter than Castor.
Pollux is a single yellow-orange star, while Castor is actually made up of six stars
in 3 pairs.
The galactic star cluster M35 is near Castor's foot.
Southwest of M35 is the faint and distant star cluster NGC 2158.
NGC 2392, the Clown Face Nebula, which appears a blue-green in color
is left of Pollux.
Viewing The Gemini Constellation
Right Ascension: 7 hours
Declination: 20 degrees
Visible between latitudes 90 and -60 degrees
Best seen in February (at 9:00 PM)
Some stars in the constellation are:
CASTOR (Alpha Gem)
POLLUX (Beta Gem)
ALHENA (Gamma Gem)
The main pair of Castor A and B is difficult to separate in small telescopes.
Smaller telescopes require good optics, high power, steady skies and patience to resolve them.
M35 appears as a fuzzy spot in binoculars, but is easily resolved in any astronomical telescope.
The faint and distant star cluster NGC 2158 is a compact cluster, not quite resolvable in a
6 inch telescope about 16,000 light years away.
Gemini is also the constellation in which the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.
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