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M. AmintaioEvents: Arcturos: A bright star is born


Arcturos story begins thousands of years ago…: Callisto was the daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia.

Since she was a little girl, she was devoted to Artemis, goddess of hunt and wild animals and vowed to remain a virgin, always faithful to the goddess’s service. Thus, she went to live with Artemis in the woods, hunting wild beasts. One day, Zeus, the father of Gods saw Callisto and fell in love with her. In order to seduce her, he took Artemis’s form and forced Callisto to lie with him. Callisto gave birth to a son, Arcas. Zeus knew that if Hera, his wife, found out, she would be furious with Callisto, so he transformed her into a bear. Callisto roamed the forests for years looking for her son. When she eventually found him, he was a grown man, and she tried to embrace him. But Arcas tried to kill her, not knowing that the bear was his own mother.

Zeus felt sorry for them and in order to prevent the matricide, transformed them both into constellations (Ursa major and Ursa minor) and took them with him to heaven. Hera, who never ceased to be angry, ordered Ocean, the river that surrounds earth, not to let them bathe in his waters for eternity. That is why these two constellations never set. Moreover, in order to save them from Hera’s jealousy once and for all, Zeus placed near them another star called Arcturos, whose name means guardian of the bear (bear is called ‘arctos’ in ancient Greek), to accompany and protect them for ever.

According to the science of astronomy, Arcturos belongs to the constellation Boötes, and it is located on the tail of Ursa major. It is one of the brightest stars in the sky.


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