How Did the Aries Constellation Get Its Name?

Introduction

The Aries constellation is named after the ram in Greek mythology whose golden fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts. It is one of the oldest documented constellations and is believed to have been named around 2000 BCE by ancient Babylonian astronomers.

The Mythology Behind Aries

According to Greek mythology, Aries is associated with the ram whose golden fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts. The story goes that Zeus transformed himself into a ram to carry the children of the sea god Poseidon and the goddess of the earth Demeter to safety. The ram was then sacrificed and its golden fleece became the object of desire for Jason and his crew.

The History of Aries Observation

The Aries constellation has been observed for thousands of years and is believed to have been named by ancient Babylonian astronomers. It was later incorporated into Greek mythology and became associated with the ram.

In ancient times, the position of the Aries constellation marked the beginning of the astrological calendar. This is because the Sun would appear to be in front of Aries during the spring equinox. Today, the Sun appears in front of the Pisces constellation during the spring equinox due to the precession of the equinoxes, but the name Aries has still been used to refer to this time period.

Aries Today

Today, the Aries constellation is one of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. It is located in the northern celestial hemisphere and is best observed during the months of December to April. Aries is also part of the Zodiac and is associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars in Western astrology.

Final Thoughts

The Aries constellation has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Its association with the ram in Greek mythology has made it a popular and recognizable constellation in modern times. While its significance as the beginning of the astrological calendar has shifted, it remains an important part of astronomical observation and understanding.