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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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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 was attracted to her. After numerous attempts to conquer Leda's love, Zeus changed himself into a wonderful 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.

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The Myth of Jupiter and Callisto

Callisto was a river goddess. Her great grandfather was the river god Inachus. Callisto was the favorite companion of the goddess Diana. She accompanied Diana on the hunt and helped her and looked after...more

Tour - The Myth of Jupiter and Callisto

One day the god Jupiter saw the beautiful Callisto and fell in love with her. Knowing that Diana had warned Callisto about men and gods, Jupiter pretended he was the goddess Diana. In this disguise, Jupiter...more

Tour - The Myth of Jupiter and Callisto

Some time after Callisto had been forced out of the company of Diana, she gave birth to a boy child named Arcas. Jupiter's wife Juno was mad and changed Callisto into a bear. Callisto was afraid and she...more

Europa

Europa was a beautiful princess. According to Greek mythology, Europa was seduced by Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus fell in love with Europa after seeing her gathering flowers by the sea. Zeus changed...more

Apollo

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Zeus (Jupiter) and Leto (Letona). His twin sister is Artemis (Diana). He was the god of the Sun, and was also a fine musician and healer. He was known as the god...more

Venus (Aphrodite)

Venus was the goddess of love and beauty. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she always wore a smile. ...more

Ahsonnutli

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

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF