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Astronomy: Nemo constellation

Gearing up for the final exam this week, but fully expecting of myself to do well. Using the Stellarium software, I took a screen shot for my last homework assignment, then decided to get creative. One of the tasks this week was to research certain constellations as to their mythological backgrounds, and Draco was among them. Draco was not one whose story I was familiar with, but it’s a dragon. In fact it’s Hera’s dragon, her faithful pet dragon who guarded her super special golden apples by sleeping wrapped around the trunk so no one could steal the apples. He was her guard-dragon, her Nemo.

Well, lo and behold, Hercules is on a prove-he’s-a-tough-guy jaunt ticking off a list of twelve things somebody dared him to do, and stealing Hera’s apples is on the list. How does he do it, you ask? He just shoots and kills the dragon over the fence, and then sends in some gullible schmuck to climb the tree and get the goods. There’s a tough guy for you. Like a deliberate drive-by shooting of somebody’s beloved pet that was minding its own business in its own yard and then a looter comes into the yard and steals the homeowner’s treasure. Jerk. What a scummy thing to do. Why Hera didn’t go after him and bash his head in for killing her pet dragon, I don’t know. Those Greek myths always ticked me off. Anybody who knows me knows how I feel about people who abuse animals, so the story of the dragon really upset me. As you can probably tell. To top it all off, the Hercules constellation is positioned right next to the dragon, with the story being that he’s supposedly crushing the dragon.

Anyway, poor Hera was so upset about her murdered dragon that she immortalized him by placing him in the heavens where he encircles the northern pole, protecting it as he did the apple tree. From whom, I’m not sure, but it was sweet of her to think of how to best honour her faithful pet. I had never picked the constellation out of the sky before, but now it’s my favourite one, just on principle. Who knew Hera was an animal lover?

I decided that if I could place a constellation in the sky, it would look like this one:

Nemo constellation

Nemo would be chasing Hercules throughout eternity trying to bite him in the rump for trying to hurt the dragon.

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