Leonardo da Vinci's: "Leda and Her Two Sons Castor and Pollux." Pollux is the Latin version of Polydeuces. Castor was the son of Leda and her husband Tyndareus, the king of Sparta.
Painting (c.XV-XVI century). Borghese Gallery, Rome, Italy.
Click on image for full size
Leda and the Constellation Cygnus
For the ancient Greeks, the constellation Cygnus, which means "swan", was related to
the myth of Zeus
and Leda, the queen of
Sparta. The queen of Sparta was so beautiful that Zeus wanted her.
After numerous attempts to conquer Leda's love, Zeus
changed himself into a white swan. The swan was magnificent and Leda
fell in love with him. Leda then delivered a blue egg.
When the egg was hatched, two lovely
children came out of it: Polydeuces and the beautiful Helen who later became famous as Helen of Troy.
The constellation Cygnus was then formed to celebrate the lovely swan.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god of the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. The four main directions are believed to be supported by giants. Each direction has a specific color: white-east;...more
In Roman and Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a beautiful sea nymph. Poseidon (Neptune), who was the god of the sea and earthquakes, fell in love with her at first sight. Amphitrite did not respond to his...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. He was known as the god who could...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek...more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia. His wife was Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the...more
In Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the mischievous god, Coyote. Coyote was very impatient when the Holy People decided to place the stars in the sky. In his anger, he chose to place a red...more