Sunday, April 11, 2010
"In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true."
The constellation HERCULES with the Hercules beetle, Scarabaeidae Dynastes Hercules and the starburst galaxy NGC 4214.
Hercules is one of the oldest of the sky figures. It has been of importance in so many cultures that no other constellation has so many different names. We know him in mythology as the Roman half god/half man who was so strong that he was able to perform the 12 labors set for him by King Eurystheus of Mycenea. In the sky he is depicted resting on one knee with his left foot on the head of Draco, the beast he has just slain as one of the labors.
Likewise, his namesake, the Hercules beetle, is immensely strong with the ability to carry 850 times its own body weight, making it the strongest animal for its size in the world. The specimen shown in the drawing is a male of the species. The female has no horn.
The constellation SCORPIO with the emperor scorpion, Scorpionidae Pandinus imperator, and the Starburst galaxy NGC 1569.
The specimen in the drawing was given many years ago to our son Barrett by Bill Peck who found it in Egypt while excavating. Despite the large size and ominous appearance, the sting of this species is mild, so this scorpion is actually not much of a threat.
One of the odd attributes of all scorpions is their ability to fluoresce under black light. They turn greenish yellow and glow like stars.