Archive for the ‘Greek Mythology’ Tag

Phaethon – The Mythology   5 comments

(Image Credit: CoolCLIPS_vc051539)

Phaethon in Greek mythology was the son of Helios, the sun god, and a woman/nymph who was known among different sources as Clymene, Prote, or Rhode.

Friends of Phaethon challenged him to prove he was not illegitimate and that his father really was Helios the sun god. His mother assured him this was true and suggested he also gain confirmation from his father Helios. Phaethon decided to request from his father proof of his affiliation with the sun. Helios was happy to consent to give his son anything he wanted, but when Phaethon demanded that he should be allowed to have a whole day to drive his father’s sun chariot Helios strongly advised him not to, pointing out that even Zeus did not have the strength to handle the steeds. However, a promise was a promise and despite his misgivings Helios

CoolCLIPS_vc051539

allowed him to take charge of the chariot. As he predicted Phaethon lost control of the horses. Initially the horses climbed too high causing the Earth to freeze over. The out of control steeds then careered so close to the Earth that the chariot burned and charred the Earth. Seeing the imminent disaster and in a bid to prevent that occurrence Zeus elected to bring the chariot down with a bolt of thunder. The unfortunate consequence for Phaethon being that he plummeted down to earth and was killed at the mouth of the river Eridanus, which was later recognized as the Po.

Phaethon’s close friend or even lover, Cycnus (king of Liguria) deeply grieved his demise and so the gods transformed him into a swan. Phaethon also had seven sisters, who were known as the Heliades. They too grieved deeply for him and kept watch in the place that their brother Phaethon careered to Earth and died. This wake continued until the time when the gods transformed the sisters into Poplar trees. Their tears of grief the gods transformed into amber.

The name “Phaethon” – Greek for “Shining/Radiant One”, was given also to:

  • Phaethon (Son of Eos)
  • One of the horses of Eos (the Dawn)
  • The Sun

 

 

 

 

  • The constellation Auriga
  • The planet Jupiter (Some versions refer to the planet Saturn rather than Jupiter)
  • Used as a descriptive word to describe the sun and the moon

 

Today it is the name given to rare blue asteroid “3200 Phaethon” which orbits very close to the sun and is named after the Phaethon of Greek mythology.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaethon

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Phaethon-Greek-mythology

 

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2014 Winter Olympics–Coming Soon to a Crater Near You!!   46 comments

Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics 2014

 

2014 Winter Olympics – Chelyabinsk Meteor Anniversary

2014-winter-olympics-logoThe 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games (22nd Winter Olympic Games), are set to take place from 7 to 23 February 2014, in Sochi, Russia.                 clip_image001clip_image001[1]

Chelyabinsk meteor Chelyabinsk meteor 2The Chelyabinsk meteor was a Near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013 exploding in an air burst about 40 km above Korkino, south of central Chelyabinsk Oblast. The explosion created a bright flash, churning out a sizeable quantity of small meteorite fragments and a formidable shock wave.

Lake Chebarkul The meteorite fragments fell in and near to Lake Chebarkul with the largest extracted from the bed of the lake on 16 October 2013. Despite its 654 kg (1,442 lbs.) mass tipping and breaking the scales it was weighed on, it proved very fragile and shattered into three distinct pieces. In the aftermath of the Chelyabinsk meteor event an unofficial market swiftly arose for meteorite fragments.

The anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor event will be in Sochi, Russia on 15 February 2014. A total of seven gold medals are available to be won during the anniversary day’s medal events and each will contain fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

2014 Winter Olympic Medals with meteorite fragmentsFragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

 

Callisto (2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics)

callisto2In a very interesting to note lol that by some strange cosmic coincidence the 2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics will be held on Jupiter’s extremely ancient Galilean moon Callisto, the most heavily cratered moon in the Solar System.

Callisto’s impact-battered surface features multi-ring structures, variously shaped impact craters, and chains of craters (catenae). Probably due to the icy nature of its surface Callisto lacks any large mountains. The water that has spread over the surface forming bright rays and rings around the crater is a result of the meteorite impacts puncturing holes in Callisto’s crust.

It is now believed that beneath Callisto’s crust may lie a salty, subsurface ocean of liquid water around 50–200 km deep indicated by studies of the magnetic fields around Jupiter and its moons. This leaves open the option that there could be extra-terrestrial microbial life on Callisto, though conditions are thought to be less conducive to life than on neighbouring Jovian moon Europa.

Callisto in Olympian Mythology

Mount-olympusZeus and CallistoZeus-greek-mythology-god-of-the-godsCallisto is named after one of Zeus – god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus’s many lovers, in Greek mythology. It is said that Callisto herself was a nymph who was associated with the goddess of the hunt, Artemis.

Zeus was held in exceptionally high esteem and power by the Ancient Greeks and once every four years the Olympians held a festival including games to honour their god. Today nations still meet for the Olympic Games but not to honour Zeus, rather the ability of the athletes themselves are considered and rewarded.

 

Valhalla Basin (2014 Galactic Winter Olympics)

Valhalla Basin_Credit_WikipediaValhalla Basin_Credit NASA_JPLIn another wildly unlikely cosmic coincidence, the main venue of the Galactic Winter Olympics, Valhalla Basin, is also a crater produced by an impacting meteor. (Not the same one as Russia’s! Don’t be silly!) Furthermore it is not only the largest multi-ring impact crater on Callisto but also in the Solar System.

Discovered by the Voyager probes in 1979–80 it is located slightly to the north of the equator on Callisto’s Jupiter-facing hemisphere. Part of an extensive system in the

Valhalla region Valhalla’s bright-floored central basin stretches across a diameter spanning 360 km. It is surrounded by at least eight concentric mountainous ridges, which resemble frozen rings of ‘ghostlike ripples’ extending as far as 1,500 km from the basin’s central point.

Valhalla in Mythology

ValhallaOdinThis huge impact crater is named after Valhalla, Odin’s great hall in Norse mythology.  

                                                                         

Valhalla_was_in_Asgard_Home_of_the_fallen_VikingsValhalla, Hall of the Slain, in Norse mythology is the most beautiful of Asgard’s many great halls. It was here with Odin that the W Door Valhalla Guarded by a Wolfheroes who had been slain in battle – the Einherjar, feasted nightly on the meat of the boar Schrimnir and from the goat Heldrun, mead, whilst preparing for the up and coming battle of Ragnarok. Eight hundred warriors marching shoulder to shoulder will emerge from each one of Valhalla’s five hundred and forty doors when this time comes.

Vast and daunting Valhalla was said to have spears for rafters and golden shields providing roofing thatch, along with a fine array of breast plates, scattered around the Hall.

The western door of Valhalla is guarded by a wolf and hovering high above the door an eagle. Outside the front of the hall is Glasir, a golden tree and on the roof of Valhalla, the green leaves of another tree known as Læraðr – happily munched through by the goat Heldrun and the stag Eikþyrnir.

Asgard Crater Region– Callisto

To the west of Valhalla is another large multi-ring basin—Asgard Crater; the second largest multi-ring structure (impact crater) on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. The crater is named after Asgard, the realm of the gods in Norse mythology,

Asgard in Norse Mythology – Olympic Links

Bifrost and ValhallaThe Norse equivalent to Mount Olympus in Greek mythology, Asgard was the home and stronghold of the Norse gods. Set in the skies the only way to reach it was to cross Bifrost – the rainbow bridge.

Valhalla, the dwelling of Odin was the grandest and most magnificent of the many gold and silver halls to be found in Asgard. Norse mythology stated that Asgard would be destroyed at Ragnarok -"Doom of the powers (gods)," also known as “Gotterdammerung” which in Norse mythology means “the end of the cosmos.” A huge final battle would be fought and the world enveloped in flames; the gods defeated by giants and demons. But a number of the gods will survive, or will be reborn and out of the sea a green and fertile world will emerge.

2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics!

Coming soon to a Crater Near You!!

Valhalla Basin_Credit NASA_JPL

Sources:

Viking Mythology : http://www.missgien.net

http://www.wikipedia

Related blogs on this site.

Zeus god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus – https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/zeusgod-of-the-olympics-and-supreme-ruler-of-mt-olympus/

Russian Fireball Explodes over Chelyabinsk–And it’s all the US’s Fault!!!! https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/russian-fireball-explodes-over-chelyabinskand-its-all-the-uss-fault/

Galactic Olympics – Mars 2012 https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/2012-gale-crater-galactic-olympics/

Pegasus the Winged Horse ~ The Tale of Pegasus and Bellerophon   35 comments

 

Pegasus the Winged Horse of Myth and Legend

Pegasus and Bellerophon

There are many amazing horses to be found in the realms of fantasia and mythology. However it would be hard to find one as mysteriously majestic as the mighty winged horse Pegasus. One of the most famous myths in Greek Mythology he is a creature to be found on numerous occasions both in works of art and in poetry.

Pegasus the winged horse of myth and legend

Stunning battle horses the Pegasi were amazing creatures, prized for their speed and eroticity and a fantastic sight to behold awesome both in flight and when resting with beautiful and mysterious wings stretching skywards and spreading as if to capture the air currents, jumpy and edgy as they readied for flight.

 

Bellerophon riding Pegasus  pegasus_wingsGreek Mythology – Pegasus and Bellerophon

The Flight to Olympus – Home of the Gods

Pegasus was the son of Perseus (in some versions, the sea god, Poseidon) and Medusa, the Queen of the Gorgons. The beautiful winged horse was born from the spilled blood of Medusa, when a fight between her and Perseus broke out, resulting in Perseus severing Medusa’s head, causing droplets of her blood to land in the sea. Frothing, white sea foam mingled with the blood-red droplets and so Pegasus was born gaining from the sea foam, his stunning white colour.

From the same blood droplets shed by Medusa Pegasus’s brother was born. Named Chrysaor he was described as a winged Boar. Both creatures were born in adult form.

 

athena2Following his capture and taming at the hands of the goddess Athena, Pegasus was presented to the Muses at Mount Parnassus, where he provided help and assistance to the poets. It is said in legend that whenever Pegasus struck the ground with his hoof, a beautiful spring burst into life there. One such spring, at Perseus’s command, appeared on a mountain of the Muses’. Known as Mount Helicon, the Hippocrene meaning "horse spring", it was intended to regulate the growth of the mountain. Likewise at the strike of Pegasus’s hoof another spring burst into life at Troezen.

The Flight To Mount Olympus – Home Of The Gods

As the conquests of Bellerophon a Greek Corinthian hero and monster slayer grew he became ambitious, and was soon determined to seek out the gods on Mt. Olympus. Hearing tales of the winged horse, he set out to track Pegasus down.

                      Mural of winged horse Pegasus

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Bellerophon was instructed by Polyeidos to sleep in the temple of Athena, where the goddess visited him in the night and presented him with a golden bridle. He awoke next morning, bridle in hand to discover, Pegasus who was drinking at the Pierian spring. On seeing the magical bridle, he approached Bellerophon and allowed him to ride. His remarkable speed was a of major assistance to Bellerophon who at various points along the way rode Pegasus into battle against both the Amazons and the Chimera, a creature that breathed fire, had a lion’s mane and head, with a goat’s head rising out of its back. It also had the udders of a goat and a serpent’s tail.

                                           Chimera

 

Zeus-god-of-the-gods-greek-mythologyBellerophon and Pegasus rode into and survived many battles and in time Bellerophon came to believe he was a son of a god. Driven by this wrongful assumption he set off to try to ride his flying horse Pegasus Mt. Olympus’s highest peak to meet with the Gods as was his ambition. Zeus was highly displeased when he learned of this audacity and sent a horsefly to bite the Pegasus’s hindquarters. In great pain Pegasus reared up, throwing Bellerophon from his back, causing him to tumble helplessly to the earth below. Some say that wise as Pegasus was he knew what awaited Bellerophon at the hands of the gods and consequently deliberately bucked him off.

 

Pegasus and Eos the goddess of dawn

Pegasus continued alone on his journey until he arrived in Olympus where he found shelter and safety on the sacred mountain. In return he transported the thunderbolts that Cyclops forged for Zeus and was ridden by Eos, the goddess of dawn. Pegasus was allowed to roam freely on Mount Olympus, wandering happily amongst the meadows and springs and mountains.

In later life Pegasus mated with Euippe (or Ocyrrhoe) and so, it is said, Celeris and Melanippe were conceived, forming the constellation Equeus.

On the last day of his life as reward for his faithful service, Zeus immortalized the winged horse by transforming him into a night sky constellation. As he did so it was said that a single feather fell to the earth near the city of Tarsus.

                                   Eos goddess of dawn2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Day Pegasi

pegasus022In modern terminology, the word "Pegasus" (plural "pegasusses" or "pegasi") has come to refer to any winged horse, though the term "pterippus" (meaning winged horse, plural "pterippi") is also used. Part of the horse zebra and unicorn family the Pegasi is the only creature in it’s genus. How they became so spectacularly winged is a mystery that remains to this day.

Although they are native to the Balklands they are now extinct in that region. The only ones that remain and have survived exist far away on their grazing grounds in the highest peaks of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Living in herds and rearing foals in the same fashion as normal horses the Pegasi are now studied by cryptozoologists.

Pegasus_StallionPegasi stallions are larger than thoroughbreds and more often than not boast coats of shimmering white, though they can be varying shades of browns through to pure star black. They compete for up to 5 mares and fight for dominance during the mating season. The Pegasi’s most striking feature, is their huge wings, which can on larger stallions span as wide as 7.3m+. Bulges of muscles around the area of their withers, shoulders and rib cage are the point at which their flight muscles attach to their breast bone.

Pegasi and foal

Pegasi foals do not develop their flying skills until they are around 6 months old although they learn the skill of walking  practically from birth. The first few weeks of life are also utilised with wings flexing and development of muscles necessary for flight, in the same way as young birds would.

Pegasus – The Constellation

pegasus_blue_constellation2

The constellation of Pegasus is home to several galaxies and even a bright globular cluster. It is one of the very first of the 48 constellations to be listed, in the 2nd century by the well-known astronomer Ptolemy. It remains one of the 88 constellations that we see today shining brightly in the Northern sky.

In 1995 a planet at least half the size of Jupiter was discovered orbiting the star 51 Pegasus, which is about 40 light-years from the earth; this marked the first time a planet was detected orbiting a sun like star outside the solar system.

 

Pegasus the flying horse