Coma Berenices: Facts & Myths

There are few activities which are seldom done by people, but of the few, there are certain ones which are never considered as well. Stargazing is one of them, and although people do seem to like it much, they are not convinced because not everyone is familiar with the knowledge of the Night Sky. Today, we are going to look at a particular constellation by the name of Coma Berenices and look at its history as an example to understand why people should give more importance to it in the first place!

What is Coma Berenices?

  • A huge database of information isn’t required to have a little fun with stargazing, but the fundamentals are necessary to bring out the best in the activity.
  • Fundamentals include factors such as the origins of the constellation which primarily is the main aspect that one ought to know and other miscellaneous factors such as its shape, size and so on.
  • One can wonder what the need is to name a constellation in a way which so many of us will find it hard to pronounce, because Coma Berenices isn’t the easiest to pronounce, but, it was named in such a way because of its origins.
  • Its origin takes us all the way to Egypt, where the name was taken from a Queen then, by the name of Berenice 2. Her husband was in a war then, and she was worried that something would happen to him.
  • Hence, to guarantee his safety, she swears an oath to the Goddess Aphrodite saying that she would cut her hair and offer it to her temple. When her husband comes back unharmed, she fulfills the promise but finds the hair missing the next day.
  • Hence, to avoid the King’s rage, one of the court astronomers said that Aphrodite had placed the hair in the sky. This is how the constellation got its name, owing to the beauty of the Queen’s hair and this presents a symbol of history which goes back to around 2200 years or so!
  • This story is perhaps what makes Coma Berenices all the more interesting. Although the background to the constellation is quite interesting, the constellation isn’t well known because there aren’t a lot of bright stars in it.
  • But, then again, this constellation is something that is quite an interest to veteran astronomers because it is home to quite a lot of objects, some of which include Messier objects, Galaxies, and Clusters all packed into one constellation!
  • Disregarding its size which isn’t the biggest out there, it is still visible and can be spotted considerably easily. Thus this constellation comes with a whole package that certainly shouldn’t be missed out by anyone, in the end!

Insights on Coma Berenices

Looking into Coma Berenices in detail, one can find that the constellation is a marvel of mysteries, most of which include inquisitive objects such as the Messier objects. This constellation, in the end, is a visual treat for all those who yearn to sight and wonder at the night sky!