gemini (jem´-i-ni)—the Twins. (face West.)
Location.—A line drawn from β to κ Ursæ Majoris and prolonged an equal distance ends near Castor, in Gemini. Gemini is characterized by two nearly parallel rows of stars. The northern row if extended would reach Taurus, the southern one Orion. Note the fine cluster 35 M. Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781 a short distance southwest of it. Two wonderful streams of little stars run parallel northwest on each side of the cluster. Where the ecliptic crosses the solstitial colure is the spot where the sun appears to be when it is farthest north of the equator, June 21st. Castor is a fine double for a telescope, and Pollux has three little attendant stars. An isoceles triangle is formed by Castor, Aldebaran in Taurus, and Capella in Auriga. There is a record of an occultation in Gemini noted about the middle of the fourth century b.c.
The Arabs saw in this group of stars two peacocks, the Egyptians two sprouting plants, and the Hindus twin deities, while in the Buddhist zodiac they represented a woman holding a golden cord. Since classic times, however, the figure has always been that of human twins.
At the point indicated near θ a new star was discovered by Enebo in March, 1912. It attained a maximum of about magnitude 3.5 and has at this writing waned to the eleventh magnitude.
auriga (â-ri´-ga)—the Charioteer. (face Northwest.)
ursa Minor (er´-sa Mi´-nor)—the Little Bear. (face North.)