Corona Borealis (CrB
) is a small, C or U-shaped constellation
found in the Northern Hemisphere
. It is visible in the northern sky from Feburary to September, best seen during the month of July. The seven stars which make up the constelation are not terribly bright. Those stars are: Theta Coronae Borealis
, and Iota Coronae Borealis
The brightest star of this group is Gemma, although it is only a 2.2 magnitude star. The rest of the stars are between 3 and 6 magnitude
. The constellation includes several fine binaries and an extremely faint cluster of galaxies, called the Corona Borealis Galaxy Cluster
. Although very faint, it is quite spectacular when seen with the right equipment. It is compromised of over four hundred galaxies in an area of about one degree. The galaxies are very distant, over a billion light year
The name itself means "The Northern Crown
" and has often been associated with a crown. The early Arabs knew the constellation as "the Dish" or "Broken Platter", while the Chinese called it Kwan Soo
, meaning "a Cord". Australians recognized it as Woomera
, or the Boomerang. The most common Greek
story is connected to the notable myth about the Minotaur and Theseus
, although it has many variations.
It is said every year Minos
, king of Crete, ordered the king of Athens, Poseidon
, to send him seven handsome young men and seven maidens to Crete
. These fourteen individuals would then be sent into the Labyrinth
, a maze nobody could escape, to fight the Minotaur. Poisedon's son, Theseus, volunteered to be sent to prove himself.
The daughter of Minos, a beautiful maiden named Ariadne
, is said to have fallen in love with Theseus. She offered him a ball of twine that could roll out by itself and follow the path to the center of the Labyrinth where the Minotaur
was kept, which she would give to Theseus if he promised to marry her. Theseus agreed and gave Ariadne a beautifully jewelled crown, a gift he received from the Nereid
s but which was originally made by Hephaestus
in his underwater smithy.
Theseus descended into the Labyrinth, killed the Minotaur and escaped. With Ariadne, he left Crete
and began to sail back to Athens
. It is said Theseus either forgot his promise, was told by a god to leave her be, or was somehow tricked. In any case, Theseus left Ariadne on the island of Naxos
came down to comfort the weeping Ariadne and begged her to marry him. In some stories, it is said she accepted, and he threw her jewelled crown into the sky to show his godhood. Other stories write that Dionysus placed the crown into the night sky when Ariadne died.
Resources used for this node are a variety of websites that I am far too sleepy to remember.