What's odd about the horned goat, Capricorn?
- The goat Capricorn is half fish, for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Some people associate this with an older Babylonian tradition.
Which archer is represented by Sagittarius, the Archer?
- Sagittarius is also known as the Centaur, since it represents the famous centaur Chiron. Chiron was the mentor of Achilles who raised him and taught him how to use a bow.
According to Greek myths, the constellation Scorpius (from which we get Scorpio) was made at the same time as another constellation. Which?
- The hunter Orion bragged that he would hunt every living creature. The gods sent a scorpion to kill him for his pride. Their battle was immortalized in the heavens to keep men humble.
Libra is represented as what common tool?
- Libra is the Latin for scales (from which we get lbs. for pounds). When the sun is in Libra, the day and night are about the same length.
Who is the virgin represented by Virgo?
- Astraea, the virgin goddess of justice, was the last of the gods to leave for Olympus. She fled the earth and became the constellation Virgo.
Leo, the Lion, appears in the story of which Greek hero?
- Leo is associated with the Nemean Lion, a fierce monster Heracles killed as one of his Twelve Labors. He is often depicted wearing its pelt.
Cancer is Latin for...
- Cancer is Latin for crab. The common word "cancer" in reference to a disease comes from old doctors thinking tumors resembled crabs.
How did the twins Castor and Pollux become the constellation Gemini?
- In mythology, the twin Pollux was fathered by Zeus, while his brother Castor was a mortal. Pollux asked to share his immortality so he didn't have to part with his brother, and they were made into the constellation Gemini.
The constellation Taurus appears in what epic poem?
- Taurus was known to the Babylonians as the Great Bull of Heaven, the monster that Gilgamesh and Enkidu defeat. They exported this constellation to the Greeks, along with the rest of the Zodiac.
Aries is Latin for...
- Aries, Latin for ram, takes its name from a mythological ram that flew down from the heavens. It's often mistaken for the Greek god Ares.
The fish Pisces represent which two gods?
- According to one myth, Aphrodite and her son turned into fish to escape the monster Tython. The constellation is sometimes called "Venus and Cupid".
Aquarius is Latin for...
- Aquarius is Latin for water bearer. Ganymede, the most beautiful of all mortals, was whisked away to the heavens so he could bear water for the gods of Olympus.