The constellation Gemini is often thought of as “The Twins.” I prefer to think of it as “The Rectangle.” Why? Because, without all of that Greek mythology bullshit, the stars are really shaped like a rectangle.
Gemini, or The Twins, is supposed to be a depiction of Castor and Pollux – two very important fellas in Greek and Roman mythology. These boys were the sons of Leda and brothers of Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. All of these babies hatched from eggs.
Back to the twinny-twinz. Pollux means “much sweet wine.” Castor means “beaver.” Already, we see some potential conflict between these two brothers egos. But it gets better. In their myth, the twins had different fathers. Pollux was the son of Zeus, King of the gods. Castor was the son of a mortal – Leda’s husband, Tyndareus. This meant that Pollux was immortal and Castor was mortal. I guess one twin is always the lamer one…
Both brothers joined Jason on the Argo in his quest for the Golden Fleece. These two badasses also helped start the Trojan War. Homer best be grateful. Thanks to all of their adventures, these dudes are considered to be the protectors of sailors. At Castor’s death, Pollux decided to magnanimously share his immortality with his mortal bro, so they both got a happy ending in the Land of the Night Sky.
In astronomical terms, Castor and Pollux are also the names of the stars that represent the “heads” of the twins, or two joints of the rectangle.
The star Pollux is an orange giant, approximately 34 lightyears from earth. Pollux is the brightest star in the rectangle, with a mass about 1.7 times the mass of the sun, a radius 2.8 times bigger than the sun’s, and 32 times more luminosity than our friendly home star. Its spectral type is KOIIIB (I have no idea what that last part means. If anyone can decode that Wikipedia page, let me know.).
Also, guess what?? Pollux has an extrasolar planet! Congratulations, Pollux, on the baby. Lil thang is named “Pollux b,” and is thought to have a mass about 2.3 times that of Jupiter. A big, strapping planet, named after his daddy-sun. Unfortunately, baby is not inhabitable, so give up on that dream, space explorers.
The other major star in the constellation/rectangle is Castor. Unfortunately for Castor, he’s the lamer one – only the second brightest star in Gemini. I bet this causes a lot of stellar sibling rivalry. However, Castor is a sextuple star system. Six stars! Probably to make up for its lameness in brightness n shit. Anyway, Castor is 51.6 light years away from the earth. Its spectral type is A1 V/A2 Vm. Each of the six stars has its own mass and luminosity and radius, which seems like a lot of work to record. But, total – Castor has a mass (masses?) of 2.15/1.7, a radius(ii?) of 2.3/1.6, and a luminosity(ies?) of 30/14. Two numbers? Mysterious, Castor. Very mysterious.
Astrologically, the constellation Gemini (or, The Rectangle) governs those born between May 22nd and June 21st. This is what I’ve learned about those born under the Gemini’s Zodiac influence:
“In terms of medical astrology and anatomy, Gemini is said to rule the shoulders, upper arms, nerve fibers, lungs, thymus gland, trachea and bronchi, structural features of the clavicle, scapula, and humerus.
Physically, individuals born under the sign of Gemini supposedly tend to have a straight and narrow nose, long limbs, a well–proportioned chin, large ears, high cheekbones, a wide mouth, a roundish head, coarsely–textured hair, large hands, and long fingers.”
Let’s see if this is true by studying some peeps born under The Rectangle.
Thoughts, dear readers? Concerns or comments? Let’s hear them.