Monoceros (Unicorn) Constellation

Monoceros (Unicorn) Constellation — Location: Galactic equator, visible in both hemispheres
Coordinates: Right Ascension: 07h; Declination: -05; Source: Modern

Monoceros is a modern constellation formulated around 1624 by Jakob Bartsch, a German scientist. It is composed of a number of faint stars in an area between the well-known ancient constellations Canis Major and Minor, Orion, Gemini and Hydra.

Monoceros, a Latinized version of the Greek word for “one-horned”, is translated as “unicorn”. One possible reference is to the unicorn of medieval and renaissance legend which is usually portrayed as a white, horse-like creature with a single spiraled horn on its forehead.

However the name “monoceros” can also refer to a far older mythological beast, a one-horned creature – part lion, part stag, and part horse – that was depicted in Assyrian art around the third millenium B.C.E. and which might have originated as a distorted or embellished interpretation of a rhinoceros.



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