STAR LORE
 

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Lupus the Wolf
 
 
Lupus is one of the ancient constellations, created before history was regularly written.  It has long been known as a 'beast'.  The Arabs thought of it as a leopard, the Greek and Romans as a wild beast; the figure of a wolf seems to originate from more recent times.  In the older, elaborate picture atlases Lupus is drawn being held by Centaurus as a spear is stabbed into his throat. Lupus is then to be offered as a sacrifice on Ara the Altar to the gods.   It does not contain any really bright stars nor any particularly bright deep sky objects but lies in a conspicuous region of the Milky Way in between Scorpius and Centaurus.  Most of the bright stars that you see in Lupus are part of what is known as the Scorpio-Centaurus OB association.  These are hot stars that appear to be of similar age and are thought to be the remains of a open cluster that passed through our area in the last several million years. 


An excerpt from Johan van Keulen's Boeck zee-kaardt, 1709.
Lupus is often shown being impaled on the Centaur's spear.

This article is ©2002 Stargazers Astronomy Shop

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