Gemini: The Twins

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Gemini, The Twins

Gemini as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Gemini Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Gem Genitive: Geminorum Origin: Ancient
Location: Northern Hemisphere Size/Area: 514 sq. deg. Size Rank: 30
On Meridian: 9pm February 20th Best View (North): Winter Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Auriga, Taurus, Orion, Monoceros, Canis Minor, Cancer, Lynx

 

The Myth Behind the Constellation Gemini

Gemini represents the twins Polydeuces (Pollux in Latin) and Castor.  Their mother was Leda, and Polydueces’ father was Zeus and Castor’s father was King Tyndareus.  Because of his parentage, Polydeuces was immortal, while Castor was not.

The twins were inseparable and were involved in many adventures, including Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece.  In a fight over two women with another pair of twins, Castor was killed.  Polydeuces, not wanting to be without Castor, asked to share his immortality with his brother.  Zeus let the two stay together, spending part of their time on Olympus and part in Hades.

Gemini Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Gemini
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
M35 NGC 2168 Open Cluster Binoculars

 

Bright Stars in Gemini

These are the stars in Gemini with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.

Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Pollux Beta Geminorum 1.16  Orange 49 suns 34 ly
Castor Alpha Geminorum 1.58  Red 59 suns 52 ly
Alhena Gamma Geminorum 1.93  White 161 suns 105 ly
Tejat Posterior Mu Geminorum 2.87  Red 1,540 suns 232 ly