Unicorn On Queen Victoria’s Coat of Arms And Constellation Monoceros – Manchester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 28.668 W 002° 14.755
30U E 550045 N 5925688
Quick Description: The Theatre Royal was built in 1845 during the reign of Queen Victoria and has a large version of her coat of arms above a statue of William Shakespeare.
Location: Northwest England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/14/2012 12:29:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMEE2Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Unicorn on the Coat of Arms
Although most people think of Unicorns as Mediaeval mythical creatures, in the UK they are usually used as heraldic references to depict Scotland.

King James VI of Scotland adopted a unicorn as a heraldic device, and then he also became King James I of England and Ireland. Later when the United Kingdom was formed the coat of arms were adapted to have a lion supporter on the left hand side and a unicorn supporter on the right.

This theatre was built during the reign of Queen Victoria and as it was called the Theatre Royal it is appropriate that her coat of arms should be on the building. It is a rather grand version of the arms, and instead of being carved in stone as normal, the arms are made with 3d figures of the lion and the unicorn. They are shown in the prone position rather than standing as is the normal case.

The Mythical Unicorn
Anyway for those people that don’t know, a Unicorn is a type of horse that has a single long horn in the centre of its head. Many cultures have references to such an animal and there are various theories about such a creature.

A number of Greek writers, including Aristotle, that wrote about natural history included references to Unicorns that they believed were to be found in India. These writers believed them to be real, if rather exotic creatures from a faraway place.

The fact that the animal was said to come from India has led some people to believe that they were misinterpreting descriptions of a Rhinoceros.

Whatever the true source of these stories everyone was agreed that the Unicorn was a very dangerous and wild animal almost impossible to catch.

In Medieval times it was believed that Unicorns had one weakness and that was their love of virgins. When a unicorn saw a virgin it would approach her and place its head in her lap. Any nearby hunters in hiding could then capture or kill the unicorn.

Probably because of this association with purity, unicorns are usually portrayed as being white in colour.

As already stated the UK coat of arms includes a standing unicorn with a chain around its neck. The unicorn was originally used on the arms by the King James I of Scotland. When the crowns of England and Scotland joined to form the United Kingdom, the unicorn was included in the new coat of arms to represent Scotland.

The unicorn in this context represents power and purity, but needs to be chained because it is a dangerous untamed beast.

This unicorn on the building is no different it also a chain around its neck connecting with the floor near where it is stood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicorn

The Monoceros Constellation
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.

It is not easy to see with the naked eye, but some interesting features can be seen with the aid of a small telescope.

Beta Monocerotis is a triple star system in the shape of a triangle that was discovered by William Herschel in 1781 who though it was “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 had an outburst starting on January 6, 2002.

In total the constellation has 36 stars of which 16 have been found to have planets. The star COROT-7 was found to have 2 planets in 2009 by the French planet hunting spacecraft COROT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COROT-7

One of the planets, COROT-7b is the first planet discovered outside our solar system that could be a terrestrial planet like Earth rather than a gas giant planet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COROT-7b
Website of the Extraterrestrial Location: [Web Link]

Website of location on Earth: [Web Link]

Celestial Body: Constellation

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