Pavo Constellation: Facts & Myths

The outer space is vast and is a huge wonder. There is so much more to be explored and learned from the space. There are various planets, galaxies, and constellations, etc. that are known but there are more that need to be made known off. There are so many different constellations out in the space, each with its meaning and name, how it was found the people and why. Since many centuries ago people relied on the stars for various purposes, for various reasons. One such constellation is the Pavo constellation, which is the 44th largest constellation in space.

What are constellations?

Constellations are a cluster of stars that are positioned in a certain way or shape. The constellations have been used for many different purposes throughout the time such as it was used as a clock by farmers for agriculture allowing them to know when they can sow, reap and harvest their crops, it is also for various many religious purposes which many people tell tales about even to this day, they are also used in the navigation of boats and ships by the sailors allowing them to move in the direction that they want to. Each constellation is a particular position hence it acts as a map for the travelers on foot too. There is a certain population that can found in the starry sky called the Pavo constellation which was found in the 16th century.

About the Pavo constellation

This particular constellation is also known as the peacock because of the shape it takes up. One can find this in the southern hemisphere of the sky. Compared to the other 88 constellations that one can find in the sky, it ranks only in the 44th place which is somewhere in between.

History of the Pavo constellation

This constellation is one of the 12 southern constellations that were named by the Dutch astronomer, Petrus Plancius based on the readings and observations made by the Dutch navigators on the journey to the East Indies in the year of 1603. Most of the constellations named by this astronomer are also named after the exotic birds. The word Pavo in Latin means peacock. According to the Greek mythology, the peacock was the sacred bird of Hera, the wife of Zeus. Her chariot is usually pulled by the majestic birds while traveling through the skies. The peacock’s feathers are said to have the eyes of a giant called Argus. This was done in remembrance of the giant who was killed when she asked him to keep a watch on the nymph and priestess called Io because she suspected her husband was back to his philandering ways. The giant Argus kept a watchful eye on her, but he was slain by the God Hermes by order of his father, Zeus. And all the 100 eyes of the giant were placed on the peacock feathers as a remembrance. Thus giving the feather’s the pattern of the eye.

The stars in the Pavo constellation

This particular constellation has a group of 11 stars. And the brightest star in this cluster is the peacock star which is also called as the Alpha Pavonis which is a blue-white subgiant star. The Beta Pavonis is the second brightest star in this cluster which is white subgiant star and the third brightest star in this constellation is the Delta Pavonis which is a yellow subgiant star. The other stars include the Pi Pavonis which is a blue star, the Lambda Pavonis which is a blue-white giant star, the Epsilon Pavonis which is a white dwarf star, the Gamma Pavonis which is a yellow-white dwarf star, the Eta Pavonis which is the Am giant star, the Xi Pavonis which is the orange giant star and the Kappa Pavonis which is a Cepheid variable star. These are the many stars in this constellation.

Though it is not possible to look at these constellations all times of the day, there are a few months of the year, where a person can see the constellations. This cluster can be viewed in the months June through August.

Interested in other constellations? Read about Aquarius or Orion