The constellation of Pegasus is the 7th largest constellation in the sky. It is named after the winged horse Pegasus, from Greek mythology, and it is one of the oldest Greek constellations.
Key Facts & Summary
- The constellation of Pegasus was among the first 48 Greek constellations, first listed by the famous astronomer Ptolemy, in his 2nd century Almagest.
- Pegasus is now among the 88 modern constellations, where it holds the title of the 7th largest constellation in the sky, stretching for around 1121 square degrees.
- Pegasus contains only one Messier object, the globular cluster Messier 15, which is located at around 33,000 light-years away from Earth.
- There is only one meteor shower associated with the constellation of Pegasus, the July Pegasids.
- The brightest star in Pegasus is Enif / Epsilon Pegasi, which has an apparent magnitude of 2.399.
- Currently, around 12 stars in Pegasus have been confirmed to host planets.
- There is one famous asterism in Pegasus, the Great Square of Pegasus, which is formed out of the three brightest stars in the constellation, namely Markab, Scheat, Algenib, and the star Alpheratz, which is the brightest star in the constellation of Andromeda.
- The Great Square of Pegasus asterism is used by astronomers as a guide towards finding famous deep-sky objects, such as the Andromeda Galaxy.
- There are plenty of interesting bright stars in Pegasus, among them, the brightest star Enif, the second-brightest, Scheat, the third-brightest, Markab, the fourth-brightest Algenib, the red dwarf, and white dwarf star system designated as AG Pegasi, the pulsating Phi, and Psi Pegasi red giants, the white star Salm, or the first discovered Sun-like star to host an exoplanet, 51 Pegasi, among many others.
- There are plenty of deep-sky objects in the constellation of Pegasus as well, such as the spiral galaxy NGC 7331, the Seyfert galaxy NGC 7742, Einstein’s Cross – a quasar, or Stephan’s Quintet – a cluster of galaxies, among others.
The constellation of Pegasus is among the oldest and largest Greek constellations, first listed in Ptolemy’s Almagest, which had a total of 48 recorded constellations.
The constellation of Pegasus is named and associated after the legendary winged horse, also named Pegasus, from Greek mythology. According to legend, the horse had magical powers, his hooves could dig out a spring, for example.
Hippocrene was one such spring, and it was blessed, so much so, that those who drank from its water, were given the ability to write poetry. Pegasus was born when the legendary Greek hero Perseus, cut off Medusa’s head, who was impregnated by the god Poseidon.
He was born together with Chrysaor from Medusa’s blood. Eventually, Pegasus became the horse of another legendary Greek hero, Bellerophon, who was asked to kill the Chimera and succeeded with the help of Athena, and Pegasus.
Despite this success, Bellerophon asked Pegasus to take him to Mount Olympus, after his children had died. Though Pegasus agreed, he plummeted back to Earth after Zeus either threw a thunderbolt at him or sent a gadfly to make Pegasus buck Bellerophon off, after which he placed Pegasus into the heavens.
The constellation of Pegasus is located in the northern celestial hemisphere. Pegasus is the 7th largest constellation in the sky, stretching for around 1211 square degrees.
Pegasus is located in the fourth quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ4), and it can be seen at latitudes between +90o and -60o. Pegasus’s location in the northern hemisphere means that the whole constellation is visible to observers north of 53o S, and it is best viewed during the month of October.
- Right Ascension: 21h 12.6m to 00h 14.6m
- Declination: +2.33o to +36.61o
- Visible: between +90o and -60o
- Best Viewed: at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during October
The constellation of Pegasus is bordered by the constellations of Andromeda, Aquarius, Cygnus, Delphinus, Equuleus, Lacerta, Pisces, and Vulpecula. Pegasus is part of the Perseus family of constellations, along with Andromeda, Auriga, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cetus, Lacerta, Perseus, and Triangulum.
Messier Objects in the Constellation of Pegasus
There is only one Messier object located in the constellation of Perseus, the globular cluster Messier 15, also known as NGC 7078, or Cumulo de Pegaso.
Messier 15, also designated as NGC 7078, or known as Cumulo de Pegaso – The Great Pegasus Cluster, is a globular cluster located at around 33,000 light-years away from us, in the constellation of Pegasus.
Messier 15 has an apparent magnitude of +6.2, and it was discovered in 1746 by Italian astronomer Jean-Dominique Maraldi. It is among the oldest globular clusters, with an estimated age of around 12.0 billion years.
Messier 15 is around 175 light-years in diameter, and it is a bright cluster, having a total luminosity of 360,000 times that of the Sun, and as such, it is among the densely packed globular clusters in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Notable Stars in the Constellation of Pegasus
There are plenty of interesting bright stars in Pegasus, among them, the supergiant star Enif, which is the brightest star in Pegasus, the second-brightest star which is a red giant, Scheat, the third-brightest, Markab which is an A-type subgiant star, the fourth-brightest in Pegasus, Algenib which is a subgiant star, the red dwarf and white dwarf star system designated as AG Pegasi, the pulsating Phi, and Psi Pegasi red giants, the white star Salm, or the first discovered Sun-like star to host an exoplanet, 51 Pegasi, among many others.
There is a famous asterism in Pegasus, which is named the Great Square of Pegasus. It is formed out of the three brightest stars in the constellation, namely Markab, Scheat, Algenib, and the star Alpheratz, which is the brightest star in the constellation of Andromeda.
The Great Square of Pegasus asterism is used by astronomers as a guide towards finding famous deep-sky objects, such as the Andromeda Galaxy. Currently, around 12 stars in Pegasus have been confirmed to host planets.
Great Square of Pegasus Asterism
The Great Square of Pegasus and its stars can be used to find several interesting and famous deep-sky objects. The Andromeda Galaxy, also designated as Messier 31, can be found between the Great Square and Cassiopeia’s W asterism.
The Great Square of Pegasus is among the most prominent asterisms during the summer months for observers in the northern hemisphere, as it represents Pegasus’ main body.
The Triangulum Galaxy, designate as Messier 33, can be found in the opposite direction of the Andromeda Galaxy. The Great Pegasus Cluster, designated as Messier 15, can be seen at 3 degrees west and 2 degrees north of the brightest star in Pegasus, Enif.
Some of the stars that mark the celestial horse, Pegasus, are Enif – which marks the horse’s muzzle, Homam, Xi Pegasi, Rho Pegasi, and Sigma Pegasi, which mark the horse’s neck, Matar and Omicron Pegasi mark the left knee and Pi Pegasi the left hoof, while Iota Pegasi and Kappa Pegasi mark the right knee and hoof.
Enif, designated as Epsilon Pegasi, is the brightest star in the constellation of Pegasus. It has an apparent magnitude of 2.399, and it is also an LC slow irregular variable star that varies from +0.7 to +3.5 in magnitude.
Enif is an evolved K-type orange-hued star, that has entered the supergiant stage. It has a few million years left to live, though it isn’t clear if it will explode as a supernova or die off as a rare neon-oxygen white dwarf, due to its mass straddling the dividing line between stars destined to explode or not.
Enif’s spectrum shows an overabundance of the elements strontium and barium, which may be the result of the S-process of nucleosynthesis in the outer atmosphere of the star.
Enif has around 1,170% of our Sun’s mass, and 18,500% of its radius, making it more than 300 times bigger than our Sun. It is 3,885 times brighter than our Sun, while its bolometric luminosity is 12,250 times greater.
Enif is quite a young star, having an estimated age of around 20 million years. It is cooler than our Sun, having temperatures of around 4,379 K, and it has a rotational velocity of 8 km / 4.97 mi per second. This star is located at around 690 light-years away from us.
Scheat, designated as Beta Pegasi, is the second-brightest star in the constellation of Pegasus, and the second-brightest star in the Great Square asterism, having an apparent magnitude of 2.42.
Scheat is a red giant star, located in the upper right corner of the asterism. It is 196 light-years away from us. This star is a semi-regular variable type of star, having brightness variations between magnitude 2.31 and 2.74 within a period of 43.3 days.
This star loses mass quite fast, and as a result, it is enveloped by an expanding shell of gas and dust. This shell has a radius of around 3,500 times the Sun’s radius or around 16 AU.
Scheat has around 210% of our Sun’s mass, 9,500% of its radius, yet it is cooler than our Sun, with temperatures recorded at a mere 3,689 K.
Markab, designated as Alpha Pegasi, it the third brightest star in the constellation of Pegasus, and the third-brightest in the Great Square asterism, having an apparent magnitude of 2.48.
Markab is an A-type subgiant star, located at around 133 light-years away from Earth. This star has around 472% of our Sun’s radius, and it is very hot, with surface temperatures recorded at around 9,765 K. Markbab is also a fast-spinning star, having a rotational velocity of 125 km / 77.6 mi per second.
Algenib, designated as Gamma Pegasi, is the fourth brightest star in the constellation of Pegasus, and the faintest star in the Great Square asterism, having an apparent magnitude of +2.84.
Algenib is also the most distant star from this asterism, located at around 390 light-years away from us, being situated in the southeast corner of the asterism.
Algenib is the largest and most massive star of the Great Square asterism. It is a subgiant star that has around 890% of our Sun’s mass, 480% of its radius, and it is 5,840 times brighter than our Sun.
Algenib is also almost four times hotter than our Sun, having surface average temperatures of around 21,179 K. It is quite a young star being only 18.7 million years old.
Homam, designated as Zeta Pegasi, is a bright star located at around 204 light-years away from our Solar System. It has an apparent magnitude of +3.414, and it is a slowly pulsating B star that varies in brightness within a period of 22 hours.
Homam has around 322% of our Sun’s mass, 403% of its radius, and it is 224 times brighter than our Sun. This star is more than twice as hot as our Sun, having temperatures of around 11,190 K, and it is also a fast-spinning star, with a rotational velocity between 140 – 210 km / 86.9 – 130 mi per second.
Matar, designated as Eta Pegasi, is the fifth brightest star in Pegasus, having an apparent magnitude of +2.95. It is located at around 167 light-years away from Earth.
Matar is a binary star system, with the primary star being a G-type giant star, while the second is an F-type main-sequence star. The primary star, Matar, has around 351% of our Sun’s mass, 2,451% of its radius, and it is 330 times brighter than our Sun.
Baham, designated as Theta Pegasi, is an A-type main-sequence star located at around 92 light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of +3.52.
Baham has around 214% of our Sun’s mass, 262% of its radius, and it is 23.7 times brighter than our Sun. The star is also hotter, having temperatures of around 7,872 K, and it is also a fast-spinning star, with a rotational velocity of around 136 km / 84.5 mi per second. This star is only 448 million years old.
Sadalbari, designated as Mu Pegasi, is a giant G-type star, located at around 106.1 light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 3.514.
Sadalbari has exhausted the fuel in its core, and it has started to expand. The metalicity of this star is similar to our Sun’s, except for hydrogen and helium.
Sadalbari has around 270% of our Sun’s mass, 960% of our Sun’s radius, and it is cooler than our Sun, with temperatures of only around 4,950 K.
Salm, designated as Tau Pegasi, is an A-type main-sequence star located at around 162 light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of +4.58, and it is also a Delta Scuti variable star, with a pulsation period of 0.94 hours.
Salm has around 214% of our Sun’s mass, 280% of its radius, and it is 32 times brighter. This star is also hotter than our Sun, having temperatures of around 7,709 K, and it is also a fast-spinning star, with a rotational velocity of around 149 km / 92.5 mi per second.
Alkarab, designated as Upsilon Pegasi, is an F-type yellow-white aging giant star, located at around 170 light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 4.40.
Alkarab is located within the Great Square of Pegasus asterism, and it is moving at a speed of 50.6 km / 31.4 mi per second through the Galaxy. Its projected Galactic orbit carries it between 18,600 and 26,300 light-years from the center of our galaxy.
Alkarab is a source of X-ray emission. It has around 217% of our Sun’s mass, 597% of its radius, and it is 43.2 times brighter than our Sun.
Alkarab is also slightly hotter than our Sun, with temperatures of around 6,061 K. This star has a fast rotational velocity, estimated at 73.4 km / 45.6 mi per second.
AG Pegasi is a symbiotic binary star system located near Enif / Epsilon Pegasi. It is 9,000 light-years away from us, and it has an apparent magnitude of 9.4
The magnitude 9 star, AG Pegasi, is classified as a symbiotic nova, having undergone one extremely slow nova outburst in 1885, when it reached magnitude 6, and a smaller outburst.
The star system is composed out of a subdwarf star, and a red giant star. The subdwarf star has only 60% of our Sun’s mass, 8% of its radius, and it is around 400 times brighter, with temperatures reaching 10,000 K.
The red giant star has around 250% of our Sun’s mass, 8,500% of its radius, and it is 1,150 times brighter than our Sun. The giant is however cooler than our Sun, having temperatures of around 3,650 K.
Phi & Psi Pegasi
Phi Pegasi and Psi Pegasi are pulsating red giant stars located at around 460 light-years, and 480 light-years respectively. Phi has an apparent magnitude of 5.107, and it is a semiregular variable that ranges between magnitudes 5.11 and 5.17. Psi has an apparent magnitude of 4.66.
Phi Pegasi has around 9,800% of our Sun’s mass, being around 200 times bigger than our Sun. It is 960 times brighter than our Sun, while it is cooler, with temperatures reaching only 3,882 K.
51 Pegasi is a Sun-like star, and it was the first main-sequence star discovered to host an exoplanet. This star is located at only 50.45 light-years away from us, and though it has a low apparent magnitude of 5.49, it is still visible to the naked eye.
51 Pegasi is only 11% more massive than our Sun, and its radius is only 23% greater than our Sun’s. The star is 36% more luminous, it has similar temperatures, but it is older than our Sun, with an estimated age of around 6.1 billion years.
The exoplanet orbiting 51 Pegasi, is designated as 61 Pegasi b, and it is known as Dimidium. It has only 50% of Jupiter’s mass, and it is very close to its parent star, experiencing temperatures of around 1200o C.
IK Pegasi, designated as HD 8210, is a binary star system located at around 154 light-years away from us. It has a combined apparent magnitude of 6.08.
IK Pegasi is comprised out of an A-type main-sequence star, designated as IK Pegasi A, and the nearest known supernova progenitor candidate, a white dwarf designated as IK Pegasi B.
When the primary star will evolve into a red giant, it is expected to grow to a point where the secondary star can accrete matter from the expanded gaseous envelope. When the white dwarf will approach its limit, it may explode as a Type la supernova.
HR 8799 is a young main-sequence star located at around 129 light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 5.964. This star has four massive exoplanets orbiting around it, while the system itself is surrounded by a debris disk.
These planets were among the first exoplanets whose orbital motion was confirmed by direct imaging. The parent star has some unique features.
HR 8799 is classified as a Lambda Bootis star – it has its surface layers depleted in iron peak elements. The star is also classified as a Gamma Doradus variable – its luminosity changes due to non-radial pulsations on its surface, and it is also a Vega-like star – having excess infrared emission caused by a circumstellar disk.
HR 8799 is the only known star to be classified as a Gamma Doradus variable, a Lambda Bootis, and Vega-like star. This star is only 47% more massive than our Sun, its radius is 34% greater, and it is hotter than our Sun, having temperatures of around 7,430 K.
The debris disk surrounding this system extends to around 2,000 AU – the equivalent of Pluto’s orbit. The exoplanets here are very massive, with the one designated as “e” having 10 Jupiter masses, “b” 5 Jupiter masses, while “d” and “c” around 7 Jupiter masses.
HD 209458 is a G-type Sun-like star located at around 159 light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 7.65, and it hosts an exoplanet designated as HD 209458 b.
This exoplanet has been confirmed to possess water vapor, which is a positive sign for habitability. This planet has around 69% of Jupiter’s mass.
The star, HD 209458, is only 14% more massive, and 20% bigger than our Sun. It is 77% more luminous, while its temperatures are similar to that of our Sun.
Pi1 and Pi2 Pegasi
Pi1 Pegasi is a yellow-hued G-type aging giant star, while Pi2 Pegasi is a yellow-white F-type aging giant star, located at around 319 and 263 light-years away.
Pi1 Pegasi has an apparent magnitude of +5.58. It is a fast-spinning star, having a rotational velocity of 135 km / 83.8 mi per second. This causes it to have an equatorial bulge which is 17% larger than its polar radius, and leads to its classification as a shell star since the star is enveloped by a circumstellar shell of cooler gas, also created through its high rotational velocity.
Pi1 Pegasi has 248% of our Sun’s mass, 1,100% of its radius, and it is 62.8 times brighter while being only 530 million years old. The star is cooler than our Sun, having temperatures of around 4,898 K.
Pi2 Pegasi has an apparent magnitude of +4.28, and it is getting fainter since it is drifting further away from us with a speed of around +5 km / +3.1 mi per second. It is part of the Ursa Major Group of moving stars.
Just like Pi1 Pegasi, P2 Pegasi has exhausted its supply of hydrogen, and it has started to cool down, and expand. It is also a fast-spinning star, having a rotational velocity of 140 km / 86.9 mi per second.
Pi2 Pegasi has around 248% of our Sun’s mass, 850% of its radius, and it is 102.9 times brighter than our Sun. This star is 530 million years old, and it is still hotter than our Sun, having temperatures of around 6,300 K.
Deep-sky Objects in the Constellation of Pegasus
The constellation of Pegasus hosts numerous interesting deep-sky objects. Apart from the aforementioned Messier 15 globular cluster, some other deeps-sky objects that reside in the constellation of Pegasus are the spiral galaxy NGC 7331, the Seyfert galaxy NGC 7742, the quasar nicknamed as Einstein’s Cross, the Stephan’s Quintet – which is a cluster of galaxies, NGC 7725 and NGC 7753, which are a pair of colliding galaxies, the unbarred spiral galaxies NGC 7217, and NGC 742, the elliptical galaxy NGC 7315, or another pair of colliding galaxies, NGC 7318a and NGC 7318b, among many other objects.
The constellation of Pegasus isn’t just full of mesmerizing deep-sky objects, but its greatest asterism, the Great Square of Pegasus, can also be used as a guide towards finding many more famous deep-sky objects, such as the Andromeda Galaxy.
NGC 7331, also known as Caldwell 30, is an unbarred spiral galaxy located at around 40 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 10.4.
NGC 7331 was discovered in 1784 by the famous astronomer, William Herschel. NGC 7331 is the brightest member of the NGC 7331 Group of galaxies.
This galaxy is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy, often being referred to as “the Milky Way’s twin” – however, due to its recently discovered unbarred nature, the similarities have dropped considerably. NGC 7331 has a diameter of around 120,000 light-years.
NGC 7742, also known as the Fried Egg Galaxy, is a face-on unbarred spiral galaxy located at around 72.4 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 12.35. This galaxy is unusual since it contains a ring, but no bar.
The Einstein’s Cross, designated as Q2237+030 or QSO 2237+0305, is a gravitationally lensed quasar that sits directly behind ZW 2237+030, Huchra’s Lens.
This quasar is located at around 8 million light-years away from us, while the lensing galaxy is located at 400 million light-years away. The quasar has an apparent magnitude of 16.78.
Stephan’s Quintet is a visual grouping of five galaxies of which four forms the first compact galaxy group ever discovered. This group was discovered in 1877 by Edouard Stephan.
It is the most studied compact group of galaxies, and its brightest member is a false member. The galaxy NGC 7320 appears in the line of sight of Stephan’s Quintet, and since it is closer to us than the rest, it appears brighter, however, it is unrelated to the group.
The five galaxies that makeup Stephan’s Quintet are NGC 7317, NGC 7318a, NGC 7318b, NGC 7319, and NGC 7320c.
NGC 7320 is a spiral galaxy located at around 39 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of +13.2, and it is often confused to be the brightest member of the Stephan’s Quintet compact group of galaxies.
NGC 7318, designated as UGC 12099 / UGC 12100, are a pair of colliding galaxies located at around 300 million light-years away from us. They are members of the Stephan’s Quintet compact group of galaxies, and they have an apparent magnitude of 14.4, and 13.9 respectively.
NGC 7319 is a highly distorted barred spiral galaxy located at around 360 million light-years away. It is part of the Stephan’s Quintet group of galaxies.
This galaxy’s arms, dust, and gas have been highly disturbed due to the interaction of the other galaxies which are members of the Quintet. NGC 7319 has an apparent magnitude of 14.1.
NGC 7315 is a lenticular galaxy located at around 282.9 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 13.8, and it was discovered since 1872 by Edouard Stephan.
NGC 7217 is an unbarred spiral galaxy located at around 50 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 11.0, and it is a gas-poor system.
NGC 7673 is a disturbed spiral galaxy located at around 152.7 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 13.2. This galaxy has recently experienced intense star formation activity and may be classified as a starburst galaxy.
NGC 23 is a spiral galaxy located at around 173.5 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 11.9. This galaxy was discovered by William Hershel in 1784.
NGC 7814, also known as Caldwell 43, or UGC 8, is a spiral galaxy located at around 40 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 11.6.
This galaxy is seen edge-on from Earth, and thus it is often referred to as the “little sombrero galaxy”, a miniature version of Messier 104 – the Sombrero Galaxy.
The Propeller Galaxy, designated as NGC 7479, or Caldwell 44, is an unbarred spiral galaxy located at around 105 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 11.6.
The Propeller Galaxy is also recognized as a Seyfert galaxy, undergoing starburst activity not only on the nucleus and the outer arms but also across the galaxy’s bar, where most of the stars were formed around 100 million years ago.
NGC 1, also designated as GC 1, or UGC 57, is an intermediate spiral galaxy located at around 211 million light-years away from us. It has an apparent magnitude of 13.6.
NGC 1 was discovered in 1861 by Heinrich d’Arrest. The galaxy appears to be around 140,000 light-years in diameter.
NGC 7725 and NGC 7753
NGC 7725 and NGC 7753 are a pair of interacting galaxies, with one of them being a barred spiral galaxy – NGC 7725, and the other a satellite barred lenticular galaxy – NGC 7753.
The two galaxies have an apparent magnitude of 15.0 and 12.8 respectively, and they are located at around 272 million light-years away from us.
Meteor Showers Associated with the Constellation of Pegasus
There is only one meteor shower associated with the constellation of Pegasus, namely the July Pegasids. The July Pegasids occur between the 7 and 13 of July.
It is a weak meteor shower, which peaks around the 9th of July, having a ZHR of only 3 meteors per hour. These meteors move fast, however, at around 70 km / 43.4 mi per second.
The radiant of the Pegasids appears to come from around 5 degrees west of the star Markab / Alpha Pegasi. The origin of the meteor shower is most likely the C/1979 Y1 (Bradfield) comet, which has an orbital period of 300 years.
What is the story behind the Pegasus constellation?
The constellation of Pegasus is associated with the myth of the white-winged horse that sprang from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa, when the hero Perseus beheaded her, in Greek mythology.
Medusa was a beautiful woman before she was cursed by the goddess Athena after she was defiled by the sea god Poseidon, in Athena’s temple.
Athena turned Medusa into a monster, that had snakes instead of hair, and her face was so abhorring that anyone who gazed at her, would turn into stone.
The Greek hero Perseus was sent by the King Polydectes of Seriphus to kill Medusa. It was a fool’s errand, as the king hoped Perseus would die, since he wished to enslave Perseus’s mother.
Perseus, against all odds, managed to kill Medusa by cutting her head, and this is when Pegasus, and the warrior Chrysaor, sprang from her neck – both of them being the offspring of Poseidon.
The name Pegasus is of Greek origin, derived from the word “pegai” which means “springs” or “waters”, and Chrysaor’s name means “the golden sword”
When Pegasus was born, he flew away to Mount Helicon in Boeotia, where the Muses lived, and he befriended them. Pegasus created a spring by striking the ground with his hoof. This spring was named Hippocrene, which means “the horse’s fountain”. Those that drank from this spring would be blessed with the gift to write poetry.
Another famous myth associated with Pegasus is that involving another Greek hero, namely Bellerophon. Bellerophon was sent by King Iobates of Lycia to kill the Chimaera, a monster that could breathe fire.
Bellerophon found Pegasus and tamed him using a golden bridle given to him by the goddess Athena. Bellerophon then rode Pegasus into the sky, and swooped down on the Chimaera, killing the monster with his arrows and lance.
After this huge success and other heroic deeds performed for King Iobates, Bellerophon began to believe he was entiltled to join the gods on Mount Olympus.
He tried but failed to reach Mount Olympus, as he fell off from Pegasus back to Earth. Pegasus managed to reach Olympus, where the supreme Greek god Zeus used the horse to carry his thunder and lightning.
Zeus eventually placed Perseus among the constellations. The constellation of Perseus is depicted with only the top half of the horse.
Did you know?
- The Babylonian constellation is known as IKU – which means “field” – had four stars of which three were later part of the Greek constellation Hippos – Pegasus.
- In ancient Persia, Pegasus was depicted by al-Sufi as a complete horse facing east, unlike most other uranographers, who had depicted Pegasus as half of a horse, rising out of the ocean.
- In Chinese astronomy, the modern constellation of Pegasus lies in the Black Tortoise of the north – where the stars were classified in several separate asterisms of stars.
- In Hindu astronomy, the Great Square of Pegasus contained the 26th and 27th lunar mansions – representing a bedstead that was a resting place for the Moon.
- For the Warrau and Arawak peoples in Guyana, the stars of the Great Square asterism corresponds to part of Pegasus and of Andromeda, and it represented a barbecue, taken unto the sky by the seven hunters of the myth of Siritjo.