International Star Registry

All Constellations

Monoceros - Unicorn

This modern constellation is comprised of stars that are scattered over a large expanse of the heavens between Canis Major and Canis Minor. Most of the stars in this constellation are scattered broadly, making it difficult to tie them together. Its center is due south of Procyon. Monoceros is a faint constellation which contains the Rosette Nebula and the Cone Nebula.

Monoceros is the heavenly representation of the legendary unicorn. The unicorn was a rare and shy animal, so scarce that no one is sure what it really looked like. Some reports described the unicorn as a ferocious beast with the body of a horse, the beard of a goat, the tail of a lion and, most notably, an auger shaped horn of great strength about four feet long. This unicorn was a great swordsman with this deadly horn. He was able to vault great distances when being pursued, much like a pole vaulter.

The most common view of the unicorn is that of a pale shy horse with a beautiful horn of magical properties. This is the unicorn of which the ancient oracles counseled hunters. These oracles proclaimed that the unicorn was a lover of purity and innocence. In order to capture the unicorn a young virgin was to be used as bait. The girl was to be left in a clearing in the forest where soon the unicorn would be drawn near to lie next to the virgin and fall asleep. When the unicorn had fallen fast asleep the treacherous wench would signal the hidden hunters to capture the unsuspecting beast.

Roman mythology maintains that Jupiter so favored the unicorn that when he saw the treachery about to unfold he snatched up the unicorn to dwell forever in the heavens as Monoceros.
Right Ascension 06:53
Diameter (°)21
Area (square °)482
Opposition Jan 02
Size Rank 35th
Brightness Rank 52nd