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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.
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PhotoDisc, Inc.

Leda and the Constellation Cygnus

For the ancient Greeks, the constellation Cygnus, which means "swan", was related to the myth of Zeus and the goddess Nemesis. In order to escape from Zeus, Nemesis changed herself into many different animals. When she changed into a goose, Zeus immediately transformed himself into a wonderful swan and won the love of Nemesis. The goddess became pregnant, delivered an egg and then abandoned it. Fortunately, a shepherd found the egg and gave it to Leda, the wife of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta. From that egg came Helen of Troy. Helen was so beautiful that Leda claimed her as her own child. The constellation Cygnus was formed to celebrate the lovely swan.
According to another version of the myth, Zeus transformed himself into a swan to court Leda, the queen of Sparta. and from that relationship, Leda had two children: Polydeuces and Helen.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA