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The Constellation Aquila, the Eagle
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Aquila

Aquila, the Eagle, is one of many beautiful birds in the night sky. (Can you name all the others? There are 6 more "real" birds and one mythical bird!) A straight line of three stars is part of the wings of the eagle. The center and brightest of these three stars is the bright, white Altair. Altair is one of the three stars forming the Summer Triangle.

To the ancient Greek people, Aquila was the servant of Zeus who held the god's thunderbolts and performed errands for him. In Korea and Japan, some stories tell of the bright star Vega as the Weaving-Princess star who marries a shephard, the star Altair.

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Altair

What's in a Name: Arabic for "Aquila". Claim to Fame: Brightest star in Aquila. One of the corners of the Summer Triangle. Type of Star: White Subgiant How Far Away: 17 light years away How Bright: Almost...more

Zeus

In Greek mythology, Zeus (Jupiter in Roman mythology) was the king of heaven and Earth and of all the Olympian gods. He was also known as the god of justice. He was named king of the gods in the special...more

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The constellation Capricornus is a goat. Many years ago, people thought this constellation was a gate to the Heavens. Souls would go through it after a person died. The Greeks thought it was a sea-goat....more

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Cygnus

Cygnus, the Swan, looks like a big cross. The tail of the swan is marked by the bright star Deneb. The head of the swan is a star called Albireo, a star with a surprise! Three fainter stars cross the line...more

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