How to Observe Gemini, the Heavenly Twin Constellation
Gemini is a constellation high in the winter sky and can be seen this week after dark.
Sun Feb 12, 2012 09:46 AM ET
Content provided by Joe Rao, Space.com
- Gemini is easily visible in the night sky this time of year.
- The heads of the Gemini twins are the bright stars Pollux (yellowish) and Castor (white; a bit dimmer than Pollux).
- Ancient mariners regarded Gemini twins, Pollux and Castor, as the patrons of seafarers.
The heads of the Gemini twins are the bright stars Pollux (yellowish) and Castor (white; a bit dimmer than Pollux). According to Greek mythology, the twins were the sons of Zeus and Leda and brothers of Helen of Troy.
Ancient mariners regarded Pollux and Castor as the patrons of seafarers, and in Elizabethan times they were also considered the protectors of all at sea. The expression "by Jiminy!" — an exclamation of surprise or awe —has been said to be a popular corruption of ancient swears by these patrons ("by Gemini!"). In addition, the twins were often billed as adventurers, warriors and famous navigators.
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