Name - DRACO (The Dragon)
Colour – RED
Head of House – MISS PORSCHKE
DRACO (pronounced DRAY-co) is large but faint constellation always present in the UK Sky - we call this type of constellation circumpolar as they can be found circling around the North Pole. The tail of the dragon wraps around Ursa Minor (the little dipper) and Polaris - the North Star.
Ancient Egyptians identified it as a goddess with the body of a crocodile. In Greek mythology the constellation represents many different dragons. Often said to be ever-vigilant fitting it's circumpolar nature. In one legend the constellation represents Tiamat, an ancient Titan who transformed herself into a dragon in a battle against the Greek gods of Olympus. In the battle Tiamat was defeated by Athena and flung into the heavens above.
Name – PEGASUS (The Winged Horse)
Colour – BLUE
Head of House – MR WYNNE
Pegasus (pronounced PEG-u-sus) can be found in the Autumn/Winter night sky
It can be located by searching for the faint but large "Great Square of Pegasus". Pegasus is used by astronomers to locate the Andromeda Galaxy - our closest neighbouring galaxy and the source of the oldest and faintest light visible to the naked eye.
In Greek mythology Pegasus was the son of Poseidon and Medusa. Poseidon the God of the sea and horses seduced Medusa, a mortal, in the Temple of Athena. As a punishment Athena covered Medusa body in scales and turned her hair into snakes! Anyone mortal who looked at Medusa turned to stone. The hero Perseus slew Medusa and Pegasus sprang from her blood up into the heavens where the winged horse carried Zeus' lightning bolts.
Name – URSA (The Bear)
Colour – YELLOW
Head of House – MR OAKES
Ursa (pronounced ER-suh) are two constellations in the night sky.
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor are visible throughout the year in the UK. It is a circumpolar constellation that contains Polaris - the North Star - which is approximately above the North Pole and remains relatively still and ever present and is so useful for navigation. Ursa Major the large constellation contains the asterism - recognisable shape - of the plough. The bucket of the plough points to Polaris in the constellation Ursa Minor
The Great Bear may be the oldest constellation, dating back to a Paleolithic bear cult 50,000 years ago. In Greek mythology, Ursa Major is identified with Callisto, a renowned huntress who was transformed into a bear by Zeus' wife Hera.
Name – ORION (The Hunter)
Colour – GREEN
Head of House – MRS FITZGERALD
Orion (pronounced oh-RYE-un) is one of the most easily identifiable constellations.
Orion is one of the few constellations that is visible from everywhere on Earth. It is visible in the UK in the winter months from October through to April by looking south. Orion contains more bright stars than any other constellation and it also contains the sky's brightest stellar nebular - the birthplace of new stars - located just below "Orion's Belt" on the celestial equator.
Although there is no central account of Orion's life in Greek mythology, stories about Orion are woven into many Greek legends. In one myth, Orion boasted that he was such a great hunter that he was a match for any beast. The goddess Hera decided to teach him a lesson and sent a tiny scorpion (Scorpio) to sting him. Orion crushed the scorpion, but only after he was fatally stung. The pair were both placed in the sky as a reminder of the cost of hubris. Canis Major and Minor - to other prominent constellations - are said to be Orions hunting dogs, while Taurus - another constellation - is said to be his quarry.