Study Guide

The Birth of Perseus Perseus, the Constellation

Perseus, the Constellation

Like a lot of his fellow heroes, Perseus has his very own constellation. To this day, you can still see him as he holds the head of Medusa up in the sky. But have you ever wondered why people chose to symbolize mythological figures with constellations? Well, back in the day, knowing your constellations was mad important. If you knew what you were looking at, you could tell the time of night, year, and which direction you were going by the movement and placement of the stars. This kind of know-how was of especially high importance to sailors.

The trouble is that when you first start scoping out the night sky, it looks like a big old mess of stars. Almost like you sat in a dark room with a pastas strainer on your head while your friends shined flashlights on you. Not that that's ever happened to anyone... Once you start dividing them up and grouping them, though, the whole sky reads like a book. Finding shapes and patterns in the stars is really useful for helping to remember what's up, up there. By connecting the dots into characters and making up stories to go along with them, it's way easier to remember what' s going on in the night sky. So, you get constellations like Perseus, who shines forever, holding Medusa' s head aloft in the sky.

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