International Star Registry

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Hercules - Champion

Shown with the skin of the Nemaen Lion holding a massive club in his right hand and the three-headed dog, Cerberus, in his left.

A large constellation between Lyra and Boötes, with one foot on the head of Draco, Hercules is the fifth largest group in the sky.

It contains M-13, an impressive globular star cluster easily seen with binoculars.

Alpha, Ras Algethi, meaning “the kneeler’s head” is a red supergiant star with a blue-green companion, Beta, Korneforos, which is a pale-yellow star in the shoulder of Hercules.

Hercules was celebrated in antiquity for his heroic valor and invincible prowess. According to the ancients, there were many people known by this name. Of these, the son of Jupiter and Alcmena is the best known, and usually gets credit for the actions of the others.

The birth of Hercules is said to have been attended with many miraculous events in Thebes. Before he was nine months old, Juno was jealous of him. She sent two snakes to devour him, but he boldly seized them and squeezed them to death. His brother, Iphicles, alerted the household with frightful shrieks. Iphicles, The Helpful, he was called!

Hercules was instructed early in the liberal arts. He soon became the pupil of the centaur, Chiron, under whom he rendered himself the most valiant and accomplished of all the heroes of antiquity. At eighteen, he started getting serious about undertaking great and glorious pursuits. He subdued the Thespian Lion of Cithaeron that had devoured the flocks of his foster father, Amphitryon. Then he delivered his country from the annual tribute of a hundred oxen which it had been paying to Eriginus, King of Orchomenus, and the Minyan people. The Minyans were a troublesome neighbor of Thebes.

King Thespiae, a benefactor of these aforementioned deeds, rewarded Hercules by allowing him to sleep with all fifty of his daughters. After accomplishing this deed in seven nights, all fifty became pregnant, the oldest and the youngest daughters giving birth to twins. Descendants of the Thespian daughters and Hercules populated the island of Sardinia, west of Italy.

Jupiter had decreed that Hercules would be subject to the will of his cousin, Eurystheus, King of Mycenae, and must obey his every command. Eurystheus was jealous of Hercules’ rising fame and power and ordered him to appear at Mycenae to perform certain tasks. Hercules refused but when he consulted the oracle of Apollo, he was told he must be subservient for twelve years because Jupiter had said that he must. Afterwards, he could straighten things out with the gods.

So, back Hercules went, determined to do the labors and get them over with while keeping his dignity intact. Upon seeing so great a man totally subject to him and also apprehensive of such a powerful enemy, Eurystheus commanded Hercules to carry out the most difficult jobs ever devised, now known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules.

This not being enough to satisfy him, Hercules set other tasks for himself. Before he delivered himself up to the King of Mycenae, he accompanied Jason and the Argonauts on Argo Navis to Colchis. He assisted the gods in their wars against the giants, and it was through him, alone, that Jupiter obtained the victory. Then he conquered and pillaged Troy and killed King Laomedon. Hercules is indeed the greatest hero in mythology.
Right Ascension 05:18
Diameter (°)27
Area (square °)1225
Opposition Jun 11
Size Rank 5th
Brightness Rank 22nd