Take a walk in the stars! Find our other constellations here: The Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Gemini, the Winter Triangle, Andromeda, Draco, Orion, Pleiades, Cygnus, and Taurus. We also find stars like Betelgeuse, Rigel, Polaris, Bellatrix, Castor, Pollux, Vega, and Sirius.
Pegasus is really easy to find, though it doesn’t look at all like a horse, not to mention a magic flying horse. Pegasus was actually pretty busy in Greek Mythology, serving as lightning and thunder bearer for Zeus, among other things, but he is best known for his work in the original movie Clash of the Titans. Other things he did include making a magical spring that made all who drank from it poets, handling Medusa’s head, and helping kill a chimera.
I remember lying on my back with a cute girl and challenging her to find shapes in the stars. I’d find squares and she’d find triangles. I quickly pointed out the Great Square. For the next five minutes she found dozens of triangles before she realized that any three (non-aligned) stars make up a triangle. Then she decided to help me with squares. The thing is, there is only one square, and even it is not perfectly square, though it’s close. (Okay, if you had a good enough telescope to see infinite stars, you’d see infinite squares, too– I get it!)
The Great Square is the basic shape of Pegasus. His neck extends off the top left of the slightly shorter edge. To find Pegasus, first find Cassiopeia (you may have to use the Big Dipper for that). Below Cassiopeia’s chair, you’ll find the Great Square which makes up his body. These four stars are easy to identify as they are very bright, and they can’t really be mistaken for anything else.
|This shows Pegasus in relation to Cassiopeia and Andromeda..|
Image created by Astro Bob using Stellarium.
Pegasus does have front legs as seen in the photo below, though I can never really make them out. Note: the photo has been rotated counter-clockwise about 120 degrees from the photo above.
|This image taken from Burro Case shows how Andromeda overlaps Pegasus..|
Pegasus doesn’t really have any stars in it that are significant or nameable. You can see the names in the photos above.