How did the Corona Borealis constellation get its name?

Introduction

The Corona Borealis constellation, also known as the Northern Crown, is a small constellation visible in the northern hemisphere. But how did it get its name?

The History and Mythology behind the Name

The name Corona Borealis comes from the Latin words “corona,” meaning crown, and “borealis,” meaning northern. The constellation was first cataloged by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, and it has been known by its current name since ancient times.

In Greek mythology, the Corona Borealis constellation represents the crown worn by Princess Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete. According to legend, Ariadne helped Theseus, a prince from Athens, to slay the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man that lived in a labyrinth on Crete. In gratitude, Theseus married Ariadne and took her away with him on his ship.

However, during the voyage, Theseus abandoned Ariadne on the island of Naxos, where she was later found by the god Dionysus. In some versions of the myth, Dionysus marries Ariadne and places her crown in the sky as a reminder of their love.

In Roman mythology, the Corona Borealis constellation represents the crown of the god Bacchus, who is identified with Dionysus in Greek mythology. Bacchus was the god of wine, and his crown was said to be made of grape vines.

The Stars in the Corona Borealis Constellation

The Corona Borealis constellation is made up of six main stars, arranged in the shape of a semi-circle. Alphecca is the brightest star in the constellation, which comes from the Arabic word “al-fakka,” meaning “the broken one.” This name refers to the fact that Alphecca was once thought to be part of the nearby constellation of Bootes.

Another star in the constellation, called T Coronae Borealis, is famous for its irregular variability. This means that its brightness changes unpredictably, sometimes dropping to as low as 10% of its usual level. T Coronae Borealis is thought to be a type of star called a carbon star, which is nearing the end of its life.

The Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall

The Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall is a vast galaxy superstructure that spans approximately 10 billion light-years across the universe. It is considered one of the largest known structures in the cosmos. It consists of dozens of galaxy clusters and superclusters. The wall was discovered in 2013 through the analysis of data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Its existence challenges current models of the structure and evolution of the universe. It also raises important questions about the nature of the cosmos and the forces that govern it.

Conclusion

The Corona Borealis constellation has a rich history and mythology that dates back to ancient times. Its name is derived from the Latin words for crown and northern. It represents the crowns worn by the goddesses Ariadne and Bacchus in Greek and Roman mythology. Today, the constellation is still visible in the northern hemisphere and continues to fascinate astronomers and stargazers alike.