It’s pretty fun to look up into the night sky and connect the dots to well known constellations that have fascinating histories of their own. In this article, we will discuss a few facts concerning Andromeda , the princess and Capricornus , the sea goat.
Andromeda , the princess
This constellation was named after the princess whose name translated into ‘guardian of the men.’ She was a character that appeared throughout the pages of Greek mythology. Joining the ranks of Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Pegasus , Andromeda is regarded as one of the oldest tales to survive history. When it comes to ancient constellations, she tops the list.
The story behind the princess is that it was Perseus who saved her when she was chosen as a sacrifice to the sea monster named Cetus. The tale goes on to tell that her parents (Cassiopeia and Cepheus) were forced to sacrifice their daughter because they had insulted the ancient gods and this was their punishment.
When taking a look at the constellation of Andromeda, you will find M31, which is known as the Andromeda Galaxy. This spiral galaxy is often compared to the Milky Way, as it shares similar characteristics. Interestingly, this is the most distant item in the sky that one can spot when they are without the help of a telescope. To pinpoint its whereabouts, you can find the constellation of Andromeda located to the east of Pegasus and just below Cassiopeia in the northern sky. Sometimes, you will find that the constellation is referred to as “The Chained Maiden.”
Capricornus , the sea goat
The name of this constellation translates into ‘horned (male) goat’ or the ‘goat horn’ and is often associated with the other constellations of the zodiac. Most commonly, you will find that this group of stars is generally called Capricorn, but it is also seen as the sea-goat to some, especially since it is positioned in a part of the sky that is referred to as ‘the Sea.’ Bordering this constellation is Aquila, Microscopium, Sagittarius, Aquarius, and Piscis Austrinus.
It is also not uncommon to find this constellation being called ‘ Amalthea,’ which is the goat that “suckled” Zeus when he was an infant , right after his mother Rhea saved his life from being eaten by his father (Cronus). This was a well known tale in regards to Greek mythology. The goat’s horn was broken and grew into a cornucopia , also referred to as the ‘horn of plenty.’ Another myth attached to this constellation involves the goat god Pan, who was attacked by a monster called Typhon. He sprang into the Nile, where the parts that stayed above the water remained that of a goat, while those that plunged into the water , became that of a fish.