Gemini Constellation: Legend, Number of Stars, Famous People of the Gemini Sign

People who look alike but have completely different characters have always been of interest to both science and society. This is one of the mysteries of nature that stimulates many minds. Therefore, it is not surprising that one day the zodiac circle was supplemented by a constellation called “Gemini” (Gemini in Latin).

Astrologers claim that those fortunate enough to be born under this sign have a strong character, a vivid temperament, and a brilliant intellect. Such individuals are multifaceted, which makes them successful in music, literature, acting, and politics. Astronomers, however, are more skeptical and do not attribute any mystical properties to the Gemini constellation. It is best observed in the winter sky when conditions for visibility are optimal.

Legend of the Constellation

Gemini was first studied and described by Ptolemy in the second century. Since then, this astronomical object has become surrounded by many legends. The most popular myth is about two brothers – Castor and Pollux (the two brightest stars in the constellation bear their names).

Zeus
Zeus

Zeus had a huge number of children, including Polydeuces (known as Pollux to the Romans), born from Leda, and Helen, who was the cause of the Trojan War. Leda gave birth to two more children – the son Castor and the daughter Clytemnestra, but not from Zeus, but from the Spartan king Tyndareus.

Zeus granted Pollux immortality because he was his natural son, but Castor remained mortal. Soon the brothers grew up. They were inseparable in life, always hand in hand. Castor and Pollux took part in the Trojan War, helped in the return of the Beautiful Helen, participated with other Argonauts in obtaining the Golden Fleece, and were among the heroes who defeated the fierce Calydonian boar.

The Twins had two cousins – Lynceus and Idas. Legend has it that the four brothers could not share the women they all fell in love with at the same time. Together they performed many feats, but still quarreled. Idas skillfully struck Castor with a spear. Seeing this, Pollux rushed to avenge his brother’s death on Idas.

However, they were equally strong, and Zeus deemed it necessary to intervene to protect his natural son. The Thunderer sent a lightning bolt that incinerated Idas but did no harm to the immortal Pollux.

The deceased brother Castor, being a mortal, had to descend into the gloomy realm of Hades. Pollux was so distraught that he appealed to Zeus to send death to him as well.

Zeus was moved and offered Pollux a choice: eternal youth among the gods of Olympus or a life spent with his brother, one day in the underworld of Hades and one day on Olympus, with the gods. Pollux chose the second option. The brothers became inseparable again: one day they spend in the gloomy Tartarus, the realm of shadows, and the next they feast on the bright Olympus among the gods.

And so that people wouldn’t forget that loyalty and true friendship exist, every night, the outline of the Gemini constellation appears in the starry sky, resembling two human figures holding hands tightly.

How Many Stars are in Gemini?

Gemini Constellation
Gemini Constellation (Vectorstock)

Space objects are actually quite far apart from each other. In addition to the orange Pollux and the white Castor, the constellation includes:

  • The Gemini neutron pulsar, one of the closest to Earth.
  • The Messier 35 cluster.
  • The Medusa, Eskimo, and IC 443 nebulae.
  • 16 other major stars (M35, Alhena, Epsilon Gemini, Propus, Eta Gemini, Wasat, Mebsuta, and others).
  • With the help of the high-precision scientific satellite “Hipparcos” from the European Space Agency, it was possible to detail over 1440 small celestial bodies that make up the constellation. In addition, modern astronomers have discovered that there are also two meteor showers in Gemini: the Geminids and the Rho Geminids.

Interesting Facts about the Gemini Constellation:

  1. This astronomical object is located in the northern hemisphere and is perpendicular to the Milky Way.
  2. Gemini can be observed through a telescope from anywhere on Earth, but its peak brightness is on New Year’s night.
  3. The closest stellar neighbors to Gemini are Taurus to the west, Cancer to the east, Auriga and Lynx to the north, Monoceros and Canis Minor to the south.
  4. The brightest stars in the constellation mark the positions of the heads of the brothers Castor and Pollux. If observed in the southern hemisphere, it appears that the “brothers” are standing on their heads rather than their feet.
  5. A cluster of 70 stars, included in the constellation, can be seen with the naked eye on a clear night sky. However, it is impossible to discern the celestial brothers in them without special equipment.
  6. Pollux is located nearly 34 light-years away from Earth, making it the closest giant star to the Solar System. Castor has its own star system consisting of 6 celestial bodies.
    Epsilon Gemini periodically changes its brightness. Every 102 days, powerful explosions occur on its surface, affecting the luminosity of the celestial body. Interestingly, this star is located right where Pollux’s heart should be.
  7. The ancient Babylonians had their version of the origin of the Heavenly Twins. In their opinion, they were a shepherd and a warrior, two friends endlessly devoted to each other.
  8. The Phoenicians believed that two twin brothers turned into a cluster of stars to guide lost sailors home.
  9. Thanks to the study of the Gemini constellation, other important astronomical discoveries were made. For example, in 1781, the planet Uranus was discovered, and in 1930, scientists found Pluto.

Celebrities Born Under the Sign of Gemini:

From May 21 to June 21, the Sun is in the sign of Gemini, so everyone born during this period is under the patronage of this sign. According to astrology, the most multifaceted and adventurous personalities are Geminis. Here’s a list of celebrities born under the sign of Gemini:

  • Marilyn Monroe – iconic American actress, model, and singer known for her beauty, talent, and tragic life story (June 1, 1926).
  • Johnny Depp – versatile American actor known for his roles in films like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Edward Scissorhands” (June 9, 1963).
  • Angelina Jolie – award-winning American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian known for her roles in “Girl, Interrupted,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” and “Maleficent” (June 4, 1975).
  • Morgan Freeman – legendary American actor known for his powerful performances in films like “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “Million Dollar Baby” (June 1, 1937).
  • Nicole Kidman – Australian actress and producer known for her roles in films such as “Moulin Rouge!,” “The Hours,” and “Big Little Lies” (June 20, 1967).
  • Natalie Portman – talented Israeli-American actress known for her performances in films like “Black Swan,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Jackie” (June 9, 1981).
  • Mark Wahlberg – American actor, producer, and former rapper known for his roles in movies like “The Departed,” “Ted,” and “Boogie Nights” (June 5, 1971).
  • Helena Bonham Carter – versatile British actress known for her collaborations with director Tim Burton and her roles in films like “The King’s Speech,” “Fight Club,” and “Harry Potter” series (May 26, 1966).
  • Paul McCartney – legendary British musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as a member of the Beatles and for his solo career (June 18, 1942).

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