The Winged Horse

Abbreviation: Peg
Genitive: Pegasis

The constellation of Pegasus

Pegasus, the divine pure white winged stallion of Greek mythology, was born from the blood of his mother, the Gorgon Medusa, when she was decapitated by Perseus. He was captured by the Greek hero Bellerophon and the two shared many adventures. However, Bellerophon grew proud and decided to ride to Mount Olympus, the home of the gods. The king of the gods, Zeus, was understandably annoyed and sent a fly to sting Pegasus, causing Bellerophon to fall back to Earth where he lived out his days as a homeless cripple. Eventually Zeus placed Pegasus in the sky as a constellation.

The asterism known as the 'Great Square of Pegasus' is comprised of the stars α Peg, β Peg, α And, and γ Peg.

Notable Features

Designation Name Description
α Peg Markab
β Peg Scheat
γ Peg Algenib
δ Peg Alpheratz This star forms part of the asterism known as the 'Great Square of Pegasus'. However, it is no longer identified as δ Peg but as α And. Despite this, the name refers to the navel or the shoulder of the horse.
ε Peg Enif The word enif means 'nose' and appropriately, it marks the nose of the horse. The star is a wide double when viewed through binoculars.
ζ Peg Homam
η Peg Matar
θ Peg Biham
μ Peg Sadalbari
51 Peg Helvetios An exoplanet has been found in orbit around this star.
M15 Binoculars will be needed to see this globular cluster. It is one of the oldest known globular clusters, with an estimated age of 12 billion years.
C30 A medium-size telescope will be necessary to see this spiral galaxy. It is interesting in that the central bulge is rotating in the opposite direction to the rest of the disc!
C43 This edge-on spiral galaxy looks a bit like a miniature version of the famous Sombrero Galaxy. A medium-size telescope is required to observe this object.
C44 This is a barred spiral galaxy shining at magnitude 12.