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Gemini Constellation Lesson for Kids: Facts & Myths

Instructor: Angie Nix

Technology Instructor for nine years and received Masters in Instructional Technology & Design from GA Southern University. Presently, seeking my Ed.S in Instr.Tech at GSU.

In this lesson, you will use your imagination to explore the sky. You will discover what the Gemini constellation looks like, where it is located, the important stars in it, and the ancient myths that were told about it.

Connecting the Dots in the Night Sky

Let's play a game. All you need is a clear night, an open sky, and a little imagination. Have you ever completed one of those connect the dots worksheets to make a picture? Today, you will learn how to play it in the sky by imaginatively connecting a group of stars called the Gemini constellation to make a picture of twin boys! A constellation is a group of stars that forms a picture or pattern in the sky when you imagine lines that connect the stars. There are 88 of these groups that break up the sky into sections. You can use constellations as your map of the night sky because it is much easier to find a group of stars instead of just one.

The Gemini Constellation
Gemini Constellation

The Gemini Constellation

The Gemini constellation is one of the most popular sections of the Northern sky. Gemini is a Latin word for twins, and by connecting the stars, you can see a picture of two human stick figures. This bright group is easy to find by locating its two brightest stars, Castor and Pollux, which represent a set of twin boys from Greek and Roman mythology.

Although the twin stars look close, they are very far apart. Pollux is an orange star that shines the brightest, and Castor is a group of six stars that looks like one blueish-white star. You can also see a cloud of dust and gas called the Eskimo Nebula and a star cluster of more than 100 stars called Messier 35.

The Eskimo Nebula
Eskimo Nebula

The Story of the Twins

For centuries, people have used their imaginations to connect the stars and come up with mythical stories about the pictures they saw. In Greek and Roman mythology, many stories were created about the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux. The boys shared the same mother, Leda, yet they had different fathers. Castor's father was Tyndareus, the king of the Sparta. Pollux's father was Zeus, the Greek god of sky and thunder, which meant he was immortal and unlike his human brother, he could live forever. The twins were always together and had many adventures. When Castor died, Pollux was so sad that he begged Zeus to make Castor immortal. Zeus placed the boys in the heavens as stars. They now remain together forever in the constellation of Gemini.

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