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Irene W. Pennington Planetarium

Lore of the Constellations: Cygnus the Swan

24 Aug 2020, 16:44 UTC
Lore of the Constellations: Cygnus the Swan
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Hello again and welcome back to another Lore of the Constellations. If you’ve been following these segments you’ll know that the last few videos have been on Aquila the Eagle and Lyra the Harp. We’re rounding out the three constellations that make up the asterism known as the Summer Triangle now with Cygnus the Swan.

So, how did we get a swan in the sky and why is it so important to be honored with its own section in space?
Well, there are several myths associated with the Cygnus constellation, the most famous one being a story which involves the Greek mythological character Leda who was the Queen of Sparta.
With many Greek myths, Zeus plays a major part in this story. Zeus would often disguise himself as an animal in order to win affection over certain people of interest. This story is no different since Zeus had his eye on Leda for quite some time.
Zeus took his chance with Leda one day when she was being attacked by an Eagle. He disguised himself as a swan and took the queen under his wings. From this, Leda produced two eggs, each with a set of twins. Each set had ...

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