The flying horse of autumn is on a rescue mission – Twin Cities


1 of the good constellations of the autumn sky is Pegasus the winged horse, along with its subsequent-door neighbor Andromeda the Princess. They’re simple to uncover. The initial issue to appear for is what’s referred to as the square of Pegasus, even though this time of year the square is orientated diagonally in the sky, so appear for a giant diamond of 4 stars about halfway up in the east-southeastern sky. That diamond, or tilted square, of Pegasus outlines the physique or torso of the good horse.

A superb issue about constellations is that they’re topic to interpretation. Strictly speaking, there’s practically nothing etched in stone about how you really should visualize the creatures and figures in the stars. Traditionally, Pegasus is observed as a celestial horse flying upside down in the heavens with puny small wings. That is fine with me, even though some of us stargazers, like yours definitely, also see Pegasus yet another way. We see the giant horse proudly flying upright in the eastern sky with a giant wingspan. I want to show you this way of seeing Pegasus, and I hope you appreciate it as significantly as I do.

According to Greek and Roman mythology, the good square of Pegasus in the eastern sky is the torso of the major flying horse. It also resembles a giant baseball diamond. Dwelling plate is at the best of the diamond, initial base is the left side, third base is on the proper corner, and second base is on the bottom.

Off of initial base or the left corner, you can not assistance but see a lengthy, curved line of stars that arcs up and to the left. Regular interpretation has that as the constellation Andromeda the Princess. In my version, that lengthy line of stars is the giant wing of Pegasus the horse. Princess Andromeda is riding above the wing getting pulled on a rope harnessed to Pegasus.

Off of dwelling plate appear for a faint line of stars that depicts his neck and head. Gazing off of third base you will see a crooked line of 4 stars that is the front leg of the horse.

According to legend, the good hero Perseus was sent on a mission to rid the countryside of the monster Medusa. He borrowed the winged footwear of Mercury, the messenger of gods, so he could fly about freely and carry out his mission. On his way back, toting the severed head of Medusa, Perseus noticed the gorgeous Princess Andromeda on the seashore about to be devoured by a sea monster. As he swooped down for a closer appear, some drops from Medusa’s head fell onto the sea and somehow that magically designed the winged horse Pegasus. Do not ask me how that occurred!

Anyway, Perseus was swift considering on his winged feet and sent Pegasus swooping down to shore. Princess Andromeda was inside 20 feet of the sea monster’s tentacles when the horse all of a sudden popped down on the shore subsequent to her. With hardly a millisecond to spare Andromeda climbed onto Pegasus’ winged back and flew off to security. Andromeda married Perseus as a reward and the couple lived happily ever following … till Perseus was killed in drunken swordfight at a neighborhood bar.

See if you can see Pegasus the identical way I do. By the way, if you assume you have observed a image of the winged horse ahead of, you have. Mobil gas stations have Pegasus as element of their logo.

1 of the coolest celestial goodies in our sky, the Andromeda Galaxy, can be located just above Pegasus’ wing and Princess Andromeda. Scan that location of the heavens with your binoculars or a tiny telescope and appear for a ghostly fuzzy patch. If you are out in the countryside and definitely have dark skies, you can see it with your naked eye. That fuzzy small patch is our Milky Way Galaxy’s subsequent-door neighbor.

Admittedly, the Andromeda Galaxy possibly will not make you do back flips when you see it, even in the most significant of telescopes. It is, like I mentioned, a fuzzy white patch of light with a brighter center. But just know that you are searching at a galaxy of possibly a trillion stars, significantly bigger than our dwelling galaxy. Also let it sink in that you are observing one thing properly more than two million light-years away, with just one particular light-year equaling practically six trillion miles!  That is specially impressive if you spot it with the naked eye! In reality, the Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest issue away that can be observed with our unaided eyes. Also, due to the fact it is more than two million light-years away, you are not seeing it as it is proper now but as it was more than two million years ago. It is taking the light that lengthy just to get right here!

1 additional issue. Even so, you pick out to gaze on the Andromeda Galaxy, keep in mind that our Milky Way and Andromeda are on a collision course. In about four billion years they’ll build a corporate merger of galactic proportions! The two galaxies are forging toward each and every other at far better than fifty miles a second!

Mike Lynch is an amateur astronomer and experienced broadcast meteorologist for WCCO Radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is also the author of “Stars: a Month by Month Tour of the Constellations,” published by Adventure Publications and out there at bookstores and at  Mike is also out there for private star parties. You can make contact with him at [email protected]


Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7-9 p.m., Stewardville, Minn. For additional details and reservations, get in touch with Stewardville Neighborhood Ed at 507 533-1650 or stop by page/2931.

Thursday, Oct. 24, 7-9 p.m., Hillcrest College in Bloomington. For additional details, get in touch with Bloomington Neighborhood Education at 952-681-6100 or stop by

Friday, Oct. 25, 1-three p.m., Rochester Neighborhood Technical College. For additional details and reservations, get in touch with Rochester Neighborhood Ed at 507-328-4000 or stop by

Friday, Oct. 25, 7-9 p.m., Bamber Valley Elementary College in Rochester. For details and reservations, get in touch with 507-328-4000 or stop by


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