Delphinus is a constellation
also known as The Dolphin. It is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is ranked 69th in size.
[hide][top]Finding Delphinus the Constellation in the Night Sky
Delphinus's brightest stars form a distinctive asterism
that can easily be recognized. It is bordered Vulpecula
, Sagitta, Aquila
, and Aquarius
. This constellation has eighteen stars, but, as in the description of all the others, only those easily found are mentioned below.
[hide][top]Delphinus Star Lore The Myth
The Greek god Poseidon wanted to marry Amphitrite, a beautiful nereid. She, however, wanting to protect her virginity, fled to the Atlas mountains. Her suitor then sent out several searchers, among them a certain Delphinus. Delphinus accidentally stumbled upon her and was able to persuade Amphitrite to accept Poseidon's wooing. Out of gratitude the god placed the image of a dolphin among the stars.
Another myth is Arion, a famous lyric poet and musician, was a native of Lesbos. He went to Italy and amassed a fortune by his art. When returning by water to his native island the sailors resolved to murder him for his wealth. He begged them to permit him first to play on his lute. As he played the dolphins, attracted by his music, swarmed about the ship. He then sprung into the sea, and one of these creatures bore him safe to shore on its back and it was given a place in the sky.
[hide][top]Notable Objects in Delphinus
A very attractive little star cluster is the Dolphin, often called Job's Coffin. It is northeast from Altair, some 13 and is composed of five 3m stars,* four of which form the figure of a diamond.