----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 10:52 AM
Subject: A Northern Crown
The Corona Borealis is an interesting constellation with possible
Pale Fire links. Like Ursa Major it is a constellation of 7 stars.
It is of course a crown of Jewels (i.e. stars) and the centerpiece is the star
Gemma (jewel), and it is a northern constellation.
The mythology behind
it has to do with Andromeda/Ariadne, a woman scorned by Theseus, who survives to
form a successful alliance with, of all Gods, Dionyssus.
constellation has an unusual star, sometimes referred to as a Blaze Star, which
every 500 years or so flares up very brightly. The next blaze is predicted for
the 2020s. It is in the Sherlock Holmes story about a horse named Blaze that
Holmes uses the famous clue of the quiet dog to solve the crime. It may be the
kind of star (stella nova) followed by the Three Magi (aka the Three
Astrologers) in the bible. There is also, by a stroke of luck, a horseshoe in
the Holmes story.
I must credit H.P. Lovecraft's story "Hypnos" for
making me think seriously about the Corona Borealis. The story (1923) is about a
man who meets his double and forms a close association with him. Before the
double dies, or disappears, he shows great fear of the constellation Corona