Monoceros Constellation - Unicorn - Kissimmee - Florida.
N 28° 20.055 W 081° 31.866
17R E 447942 N 3134344
Quick Description: Monoceros Greek for Unicorn, and the Arabian Nights Unicorn, fiberglass sculpture on the driveway to the Arabian Nights dinner show attraction, Kissimmee, Florida.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 5/10/2012 12:28:32 AM
Waymark Code: WMED5X
"Monoceros is a faint constellation on the celestial equator. Its name is Greek for unicorn. Its definition is attributed to the 17th-century Dutch cartographer Petrus Plancius. It is bordered by Orion to the west, Gemini to the north, Canis Major to the south and Hydra to the east. Other bordering constellations include Canis Minor, Lepus and Puppis.
Monoceros is a constellation that is not very easily seen with the naked eye, with only a few fourth magnitude stars. Alpha Monocerotis has a visual magnitude of 3.93, slightly brighter than Gamma Monocerotis at 3.98.
However, Monoceros does have some interesting features to observe with the aid of a small telescope. Beta Monocerotis is an impressive triple star system, the three stars forming a triangle which seems to be fixed. The visual magnitudes of the stars are 4.7, 5.2 and 6.1. William Herschel discovered it in 1781 and commented that it is "one of the most beautiful sights in the heavens".
Epsilon Monocerotis is a fixed binary, with visual magnitudes of 4.5 and 6.5.
S Monocerotis, or 15 Monocerotis, is a bluish white variable star and is located at the center of NGC 2264. The variation in its magnitude is slight (4.2–4.6). It has a companion star of visual magnitude 8.
V838 Monocerotis, a variable red supergiant star, had an outburst starting on January 6, 2002; in February of that year, its brightness increased by a factor of 10,000 in one day. After the outburst was over, the Hubble Space Telescope was able to observe a light echo, which illuminated the dust surrounding the star.
Monoceros also contains Plaskett's Star, which is a massive binary system whose combined mass is estimated to be that of almost 100 Suns put together. (visit link
According to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast, therefore the heraldic unicorn is often shown chained.
"The unicorn is a legendary animal from European folklore that resembles a white horse with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, and sometimes a goat's beard and cloven hooves. First mentioned by the ancient Greeks, it became the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and Renaissance when it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. Until the 19th century, belief in unicorns was widespread among historians, alchemists, writers, poets, naturalists, physicians, and theologians" (visit link
"Arabian Nights features a cast of approximately 52 horses of 11 different breeds. The horses perform a variety of disciplines, including Dressage, Reining, Circus Bareback riding, Trick riding and Roman Riding."
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