Constellation Little Horse (Equuleus - Equ)

The name, the history & the myth of the Little Horse

The constellation of the Little Horse is very ancient, it seems that it was introduced by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy (II century A.D.) and Gemini, who called it "horse's head". The mythological implications lend themselves to ambiguous interpretations.
A possible solution, sees the daughter of the centaur Chiron, Ippe, seduced by Aeolus. Getting pregnant, to escape her father's anger, Ippe took refuge in the mountains and managed to give birth to a baby girl. Chiron, however, managed to discover the hiding place and Hippe begged the gods to save her. The result was that, to make her flee, the gods turned her into a mare. Artemis later placed her in the sky as a constellation.
Another version sees in the animal given by Hermes (Mercury) to Castor, famous horse tamer, in another version to Pollux (Polideuce) by Hera (Juno).


The Little Horse is observable from both hemispheres, apart from Antarctica, it is located near the constellation of the Dolphin, so to find it, it is better to look first for the head of the latter and then move up to an irregular trapeze formed by four rather weak stars. Another way is to look for its shape between Altair in Aquila and Enif in Pegasus.
The constellation transits in opposition around August 10, so between late summer and early autumn you have the best observation. It culminates at midnight in early August.

The celestial bodies

The constellation is really small, probably the weakest in the whole firmament, so there are no non-stellar celestial bodies worthy of note.
After the Southern Cross is the smallest constellation in the sky, but while the Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere and has as many as four bright stars, the Little Horse or Equuleus is barely perceptible to the boreal observer.
The only celestial bodies traceable, therefore, are the stars that form the quadrilateral plus a galaxy and a few double stars.

Audio Video Constellation Little Horse (Equuleus - Equ)
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